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Where you can live can affect your health and well being. Using examples from block 3 discuss this statement in relation to both the negative and positive impact that neighbourhoods can have for people who live there.

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Introduction

Where you can live can affect your health and well being. Using examples from block 3 discuss this statement in relation to both the negative and positive impact that neighbourhoods can have for people who live there. Many reports have shown how a person's geographical location can effect their health, not only because of the so called 'postcode lottery' of healthcare provision, but also because of their social and economic circumstances. The World Health Organisation's definition of health is that it is "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." (W.H.O. 1946) Similarly, Ronald Labonte puts forward that three elements are needed to experience health and well-being - physical capability, mental health and a social connection to family and others in the community (k101 Unit 9, p.12-13). It is important, therefore, to realise that just as circumstances in individual homes can impact on occupants health, conditions in local communities can also have major effects on health and well-being. In this essay it will show that a healthy neighbourhood can provide a focus for improving the health and well-being of the community by discussing both the negative and positive impacts on its residents. In this essay will also discuss the 'Thornhill Plus You' project which was set up to address neighbourhood concerns in poor health indices, low educational attainment, low skills and anti-social behaviour. ...read more.

Middle

Further, individuals are more likely to seek and receive professional health care when facilities are either located nearby or affordable, convenient transport is available. Similarly, good transportation links would allow access to employment and training opportunities and other public resources which could also influence the health of an individual. The social environment of a neighbourhood can also impact on the health of residents. For example, people who have developed a mutual trust and feeling of 'togetherness' are more likely to work together to achieve common aims such as ensuring public areas are safe and/or ensuring social controls are in place to discourage crime and littering as well as smoking and alcohol abuse. This is important as neighbourhoods with a high degree of social disorder have been shown to have residents with higher levels of anxiety and depression. Similarly residents are more likely to pass on information regarding education and employment opportunities, childcare, health provision and other services. Also, young people are more likely to come into contact with role models and receive guidance to prevent them from engaging in unhealthy behaviours relating to drug and alcohol abuse or unwanted pregnancies or from becoming involved in gang activity. This is particularly important as young people are more susceptible to unhealthy conditions with implications for them in later life. Another neighbourhood factor which can impact on the health of its residents is the availability of local services and opportunities. ...read more.

Conclusion

a range of quality health services for residents such as 'Quitters' and 'Weightbusters' for those who want to quit smoking and lose weight. Another was the setting up of a community based health promotion project, the Thornhill Health and Wellbeing Project (THAWP) which has supported the delivery of basic health advice and services. As a result of these, health outcomes have improved with resident's satisfaction with access to health services increasing by 13%. A joined up approach was used to address other issues. For example, the Employment Gateway, in conjunction with Working Links, has increased the number of residents being supported to access employment while the funding of a skills centre has delivered accredited vocational courses for young people. The Sure Start Children's Centre, built with joint funding, has provided a range of services for children, young people and families. One programme has delivered engagement and support services including work on preventing youth exclusion and helping young people to achieve healthier and safer lifestyles. Thornhill Plus You project has proved to be a huge success and has shown that, by working in conjunction with outside agencies, community-based projects can aid in the development of healthier communities. Not only that, the residents, having played a vital part in the decision making and planning since its inception in 2005, has shown that by following 'an incremental process ..... Individuals, families and communities gain the power, insight and resources to make decisions and take action regarding their well-being. ...read more.

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