Health promotion capacity building services and resources
Health promotion includes promoting healthy behaviours, creating supportive environments and encouraging healthy public policies. Effective interventions may occur in settings such as workplaces, schools, clinics, and communities with partnership and capacity building across multiple sectors and diverse organizations. Health promotion also takes a life course perspective that includes reproductive and child health, youth and teens, adults, and seniors.
Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in Canada and Ontario. Four risk factors (unhealthy eating, physical inactivity, harmful use of alcohol, and tobacco use) are major contributors to the burden of chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes. Other chronic diseases include musculoskeletal, neurological, mental health and substance misuse disorders. Chronic diseases and the related risk factors are distributed across social gradients and reflect environmental and socially determined exposures. A life course perspective recognizes that biological, social and environmental factors in early life (e.g. exposures at critical periods and the lifetime accumulation of risk) are associated with higher risk of chronic disease in adulthood. In addressing chronic diseases and their risk factors, public health must consider health equity and the socio-ecological context.
Injury prevention is an important public health mandate for Public Health Ontario. Preventable injuries from falls, motor vehicle collisions, alcohol and substance misuse, drowning, pedestrian injuries, poisoning and burns are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children and youth. In 2009, injuries accounted for 4,643 deaths and an estimated $3.4 billion in direct health care costs in Ontario. Public Health Ontario provides scientific and technical advice to supports injury prevention initiatives.
While Ontario has many resources for health promotion and chronic disease and injury prevention there is a need to coordinate, synthesize, develop, and disseminate the best evidence in these areas. As a hub organization, Public Health Ontario will fulfill this need by:
- Linking with local, regional, provincial, national and international resources
- Generating new knowledge through surveillance, research and analysis
- Translating knowledge into tools and practical information to inform evidence-based policy and practice
- Enabling knowledge exchange between research, public health, and communities of practice and networks