Free «Health Promotion» Essay Sample

Task 1

Socio-economic status is usually viewed as a combination of income, education and occupation. Depending on these aspects, one may analyse the current socio-economic status of a particular person (Diehr, Thielke, O'Meara, Fitzpatrick & Newman 2012). If at least one of these aspects is underdeveloped, it may have a negative consequence on a person's wellbeing. In case of Christina and Paul, their socio-economic status is very low. First, they left school when they were 15 years old; it means that they could not aspire to a job with good salary because they did not receive any proper education. As a result, Christina works in a supermarket and Paul does not work at all. Both teenagers live with their parents because they are not able to rent an apartment and separate from their parents. As one can see, all three criteria of socio-economic status are low. The teenagers did not receive proper education; hence, they cannot aspire to a good occupation, and, as a result, their income is low.

Christina has to work 16 hours a day; besides, she also drinks and smokes during the pregnancy. This way of living is much predetermined by socio-economic status. The impossibility to find a good job makes Christina work hard. This results to a stress, which she tries to relax using cigarettes and drinks. Undoubtedly, this way of living has a negative influence on her health; her organism suffers from hard work, and, in addition, it becomes poisoned with alcohol and cigarettes. Hence, the low a socio-economic status has a negative influence on Christina and Paul's health.

The case of Christina and Paul demonstrates the necessity of providing the governmental researchers with the information about the influence of a socio-economic status on people's health. The health of the young generation is the responsibility of a government because poor health of youth leads to such negative consequences as demographic boom, the decrease of intellectual growth of a nation and the increasing poverty, number of criminals and level of unemployment. In order to prevent these consequences and support healthy lifestyles among representatives of new generations who will contribute to the country's development, it is necessary to provide reports, researches and studies to identify the reasons and possible solutions of such phenomena.

Christina and Paul are a good example for studying the relations between socio-economic conditions and the health state of a young generation. If one conducts more detailed research of this case, it is possible to determine the reason of Christina and Paul’s poor health state. This research could be used in order to prevent similar cases in future. The government should establish a contact with the new generation explaining the necessity of a healthy way of living. The best way to do it is to provide the real example and demonstrate what effects various aspects of life may have on people's wellbeing (Belova 2009). According to this fact, it can be said that health of a nation has a direct connection with the government interest in this issue and the steps that are made to solve this problem on a governmental level.       

The health conditions of Christina and Paul are the result of the social effect and the environment they grew up in. Christina lives with her mother; thus, one may come to a conclusion that her father was not interested in raising his daughter. The mother had little time to control her daughter's growth and development because she had to earn money for living. Therefore, the first reason of poor state of health is the low interest of parents in their children’s wellbeing. Paul has a father and mother, but there was a history of substance abuse in their family. Thus, the second reason is parents' bad example. Finally, Christina and Paul left school when they were 15, but none of the parents tried to stop them or made an attempt to change this decision.

Hence, Christina and Paul’s way of living is the result of a negative influence of their parents. They did not have a good example, which could show the right lifestyle. However, the biggest barrier for a better life is their unwillingness to make a difference. Hence, the government interruption is what required in the particular case. The young people are still able to change their life, but providing that somebody could direct them in a right way. 

Task 2

According to Beattie's model, health promotion is a complex aspect, which is influenced by social and cultural practices. This model predetermines that there are 3 main links between government strategies and models of health promotion. The government may introduce health promotion through professionals, individuals and collective groups (Clark 2013). According to the chosen way of promotion, one can use such approaches as legislative actions, health persuasion techniques, community development and personal counselling. 

Taking into consideration the case under discussion, one can identify the following links between government strategies and models of health promotion. The health promotion can be introduced in three ways. The first is a top down approach, which predetermines that the government uses health promotion strategies in order to make a difference in people's lives. This approach is probably one of the most effective for Christina and Paul. In fact, they do not realise that there is something wrong with their lives. They are too young, and they have not experienced the consequences of bad habits and an inappropriate lifestyle yet. Hence, this health promotion model is applicable to this case because it makes young people review their way of living. Another approach is a bottom up approach, which means that people are interested in changes in their lives and are searching for various government programs in order to help them with their difficult life situation. Unfortunately, this approach is not related to Christina and Paul’s case because the young people do not search for a solution or changes. For instance, Paul does not make an attempt to find a job; Christina smokes though she knows she is pregnant. Finally, the third approach is a negotiate model, which predetermines that both people and the governmental institutions are searching for a solution of the problems that arise in people's lives. This approach can be implemented in the current case if Christina and Paul could show a bit more interest about their lives. Probably, these changes may come when Christina realizes that her way of living has also a negative effect on her baby and she has to take responsibility for her health if she wants to have a healthy child.

Different professionals have different views on a health promotion, and, as a result, they set targets that differ from those that are predetermined by the government. The entire assistance, which is provided by health and social care workers, can be divided in short-term and long-term promotion. The short-term promotion means that an individual receives the immediate help in the nearest future (Acarli & Kasap 2014). For instance, Christina and Paul may receive the financial help to overcome the current financial challenges. On the other hand, a long-term approach means that a social worker could help Paul to find a job and assist Christina to find less difficult job than the one she has today. In both cases, the young people receive social help, but in the first case, this help has short duration while in the second case, it leads to radical changes in people's lives.

The government's target is to assist those people who require social or health help. Professionals use this main principle to help people, and they use various approaches to achieve the targeted goal. For instance, in the Christina and Paul’s case, the principle of short-term assistance does not work because they do not realize that there is something wrong in their lives. Taking this fact onto consideration, a social worker should reveal the understanding of the problems, which Christina and Paul face. Hence, his/her target might be represented by long-term changes that will have a crucial influence on Christina and Paul’s future.

Christina and Paul should learn to adhere to a healthy lifestyle. They need to understand the fact that a healthy life consists of routines, which imply that there are some habits that undermine health state of a person, such as smoking, and some things that should be strictly obeyed, such as 8 hour sleep. A healthy way of living is impossible without routines or rules that a person abides every day.

First of all, it is a balanced diet. The young couple should eat healthy food, especially Christina who is pregnant. If she does not receive enough vitamins, her child might have problems with health, both mental and physical. Thus, a balanced diet, which includes plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, is what Christina needs now.

Second, the couple should break away from bad habits. Smoking is bad for health; it causes enormous harm to the unborn child (Blake & Harrison 2013). Hence, Christina should forget about smoking during pregnancy and during some time after she bears a baby. No doubt, it is better not to smoke at all, but at least, she has to give up smoking during pregnancy.

The third factor is work that also plays a significant role in promoting a healthy way of living. Every person has to work in order to earn money and be able to buy healthy food and live in comfort. Every occupation has its own characteristic aspects, challenges and disadvantages. Some types of jobs may cause serious damage to a person's health state. Christina works in a supermarket; this work does not seem to be unhealthy if one does not take into consideration that Christina has to move during a day. Moreover, pregnant women should work less than 8 hours a day and their work should not be connected with physical activity; it means sedentary work.

The fourth important aspect is physical activity. A healthy person should do regular physical exercises in order to be fit (Keeling & McQuarrie 2014). Christina as a pregnant woman should do special exercises for pregnant, which will help her bear a baby. Paul should also do physical exercises to have the normal metabolism and be more energetic and active. 

As one can see, the role of routines is not only to make people obey the healthy way of living; it is also to make them try something new and develop both their spirit and body.

Task 3

In order to assist people to cope with difficulties and promote the positive changes into their lives, especially to increase the awareness of health, the professionals use health behaviour theories. One may use a plenty of various theories, which help reveal the specific aspect of a person’s life. The most widespread theories are the Social Cognitive Theory, the Learning Theory, the Health Action Process Approach, Theories of Reasoned Action and Planned Behaviour.

For instance, the Learning Theory states that an individual copies a behaviour model that he/she observes (Vatcharavongvan, Hepworth & Marley 2013). In other words, a child behaves the same way as his/her parents do. This theory can explain the current state of Christina and Paul. Their families are not the examples of a good family, which promotes such values as a healthy way of living, being ambitious or doing best. As a result, Christina and Paul followed the way their parents did, and their current situation is the reflection of the parents' way of living. The Social Cognitive Theory is very similar to the Learning Theory, but it states that an individual's environment has a great effect on a person's development. The Health Action Process Approach uses the motivate background in order to make a person start changing. The first stage of this approach is targeted on the increasing of a person's motivation while the second stage raises a person's volition.

However, the most effective theory is the Transtheoretical Model or the Stages of a Change Model. This model predetermines that a person has to overcome five stages before he/she can achieve the targeted changes in his/her life. The first stage is a precontemplation stage, which predetermines that an individual may not recognize that he/she has a problem. This is the stage of Christina and Paul; both young people do not realize that they have a problem. The second stage is a contemplation stage; at this stage, Christina and Paul have to start thinking that there is something wrong in their lives (Ye 2014). The third stage is preparation; at this stage, individuals prepare for changes, they start to think about the possible changes of their behaviour. After that, Christina and Paul have to enter an action stage where they will experience new models of behaviour. Finally, they will be ready to face the last stage, which is a maintenance stage when they are able to follow a new behaviour for more than six months. 

The biggest challenge for Christina and Paul is not to enter the first stage but to obey a new behaviour after the last stage. Many people come back to their previous behaviours; thus, it is necessary to ensure that there is no way back and Christina and Paul have crossed the point of no return.

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In regard with the effects of the local industry on health promotion, one can state that this issue is rather controversial. The reason is that it can be discussed from two sides, a positive one and a negative one. On the one hand, the local industry shows an extremely bad example since shops still sell cigarettes and alcohol drinks. Moreover, some cigarettes and alcohol drinks are even positioned as a luxurious trend and an extremely easy way to get relaxed after a busy day. In addition to the goods that provoke bad habits, shelves of supermarkets are full of junk food or fast food that leads to bad eating habits, which in turn influence a person’s health state. On the other hand, there more and more gyms appear, which propagates a healthy lifestyle. In fact, one can state that such establishments as a gym are a source and one of the best advertisements for a healthy lifestyle. The reason is that gyms propagate the proper nutrition, the proper length of a sleep and the absence of bad habits in order to be both healthy and beautiful. Therefore, one can state that people always have a choice, and everyone chooses what he or she wants.

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The information about health promotion is the responsibility of the government. The society should be informed about the ways they have to follow in order to be healthy. If the government does not perform this function, it may have dramatic consequences for the nation. The example of such consequences is Christina and Paul’s case (Beard, Tomaska, Earnest, Summerhayes & Morgan 2009). The young people do not show much awareness about their personal health and, as a result, about the health of their baby. The reason why they behave in this way is low awareness about the importance of a health state and ignoring basic rules of a healthy way if living.

According to this fact, the government should provide information to the public in order to avoid such negative processes in the society as a nation's decay. A health state of the nation, especially a young generation predetermines the wellbeing of the nation today and in the future. A generation that does not care about its health will not teach the further generations to adhere to the healthy way of living (Naumanen 2006). Obviously, a problem that exists today will have negative consequences in future. Thus, the current generation should receive enough information in order to think whether their behaviour is correct or not.

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An unhealthy generation means the low performance and decrease of the economic and political development. The current case proves this statement because both young people do not demonstrate any desire to contribute to the development of the society where they live. In addition, they even little care about their personal wellbeing. Hence, an unhealthy nation promotes financial problems and weak economics because people will not be motivated enough to achieve better results if they even cannot change their own lives.

As a conclusion, it can be said that a healthy nation predetermines the wellbeing of the society; thus, one should put much effort to make a strong, healthy and competitive nation that will be ready to face the possible challenges of life.


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