Health Promotion: A Key Community Investment
Research has demonstrated that voluntary, nonprofit organizations are making major contributions to the social, economic, environmental, and cultural determinants of health (Phipps, 2000).
- One in four (27% or 6.5 million) Canadians volunteered in the year 2000, (McKeown, 2003).
- Volunteer work has the value of $12 billion a year to the economy, (Pfeiffer, 1999).
- In 1999, not for profit organizations (in Canada) numbered close to 60,000 (McMullen and Schellenberg, 2002).
The BCHPC believes that all of this energy plays a valuable role in contributing to the philosophy and process of health promotion as outlined by the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (WHO, 1986).
Health promotion has the following features
- Allows people to have greater control over the improvement of their own state of physical, mental, and social well being.
- Gives people power to identify their issues and come up with solutions.
- Provides long term solutions to society's health concerns.
- Permits people to challenge and reduce inequalities in their lives.
- Addresses the determinants of health through cooperation and community participation.
- Provides resources that people can control, not services that are controlled by those supplying them.