Social Determinants of Health

Social Determinants of Health

We know that taking care of our bodies physically and mentally by exercise, eating well, etc., is a way that influences our health. Health goes beyond that. There are many more aspects that feed into our health. For example, the community we live in, social disparities we could possibly be exposed to, economic opportunities, and our personal relationships have an impact on our health also. The socio-ecological model consists of individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and policy. A social identity that positively impacts my health would be my social support which includes my friends, family, coworkers etc. My positive social identity belongs under the interpersonal category of the socio-ecological model. When my mental health is not at it’s best, my friends and family are who help and support me through rough times. I believe mental health is just as important as physical health so that’s why I chose it as what has the most positive impact on my health. The social identity that negatively impacts my health would be my gender. There are many health disparities from being a female. For example, before the ACA, women had to pay more for health insurance, and now that Trump plans to repeal the ACA, this disparity will come to the surface again. I want to finish with a question asking, how do you think we can overcome negative social determinants?

12 thoughts on “Social Determinants of Health

  1. Although Trump plans to repeal the ACA, all parties involved need to work together in order to ensure that no discrimination based on biological sex or pre-existing conditions prevails.

  2. I like how you mentioned mental health as a factor just as important as physical health, because I think many people overlook this. I absolutely agree that a person’s friends and family can be a very strong influence on an individual’s health. Also, your point about being a women is a disadvantage is sad but true. There are many cases where women have not been taken as seriously in health care, but I think the first step in overcoming health determinants is recognizing them. There are many people that are unaware the negative health determinants, and the first step in fixing them is spreading awareness.

  3. I agree with you that our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Having lots of support of friends and family definitely help keep us going. I also agree that discrimination of women among our society is still prominent. Even though the ACA banned discrimination of health care to women, women are still being paid less that men, they’re still expected to take care of the kids. But I still think either way, if the ACA is repealed or not, that discrimination against women will continue to exist until we can teach the younger children that all genders are equal.

  4. I certainly agree that mental health is as important as physical health. It was really appalling to me that women still had to pay more for health care until just recently. It is hard to imagine a world in which we can overcome negative social determinants because it is an issue that is difficult to solve. I feel the first step in overcoming negative social determinants would be to educate people about current disparities and inequalities in health care.

  5. Hi Lexi!
    Just like you, I have my family and friends to be there for me when I need them most. I would argue that being mentally stable is extremely important. Being depressed can definitely keep you from staying healthy and having those interpersonal interactions with others can defiantly help. In terms of being a women and receiving unequal health care treatment, I would say that it is going to be difficult to get rid of the biases. It also gets worse with the repeal of the ACA.

  6. I agree Lexi!
    Mental health and interpersonal relationships definitely play a large role health. The relationships we have and the communities we belong in are very important. I think that the first step to overcoming negative social determinants is to educate ourselves and others about health disparities and their causes. Many people, including myself, probably never learn about this issue unless they take a course in college. This is a problem! We may never be able to get rid of all biases against certain groups and social identity will probably always play some role in mental and physical health. However, if we are aware of these biases we can begin to fight against them. Also, government policies like the ACA that prohibit discrimination against certain groups could help reduce health disparities.

  7. I also agree that mental health is just as important as physical health, and I am really glad to see that the stigma behind mental health is starting to become less prominent slowly but surely. I think that a key factor in maintaining good health is to surround yourself with a clean environment. Since perfect health is unattainable (inevitable stress, etc.), we need to make sure we’re doing the best we can to keep ourselves as healthy as we can be.

  8. I think you make a very valid point that health goes way beyond just the surface of what everyone thinks. I never had thought about social disparities as being a big deal in health care until we discussed this in class. And now that I have a better idea about health disparities I understand what a huge role they play in health care. I think the example of a patient the guest speaker used really addressed many of the social disparities that many people would be oblivious to. I didn’t see most of the health disparities the first time she showed us the patient information, but by the end of the lecture I felt I had a better idea of what disparities there are. To answer your question, I think the best way to fight negative social determinants is to make health care professionals more knowledgeable to them and train them more to know how to overcome these disparities.

  9. Mental health is incredibly important. It is just as important as our physical health but it is often neglected because it isn’t taken as seriously by the majority of people. School and college in general can all take its toll our health, physically and mentally. Neglecting to workout or eating too many mojo cookies can negatively impact our physical health. Stressing about exams, and not taking time for ourselves can do the same to our mental health.

    To answer your question, social determinants will always be there. I don’t see a world where there are no longer any social determinants. However, there are people and strategies out there to try and eliminate as many as they can. For example, the ACA is an example of a way to try to level the playing field. Social disparities will only get worse with the repeal of the ACA.

  10. Dear Lexi,
    I have to agree with you that friends and family play a very crucial and positive role when it comes to health. Forming meaningful friendships that give you support whenever you need it definitely leads to a healthier mental health which can lead to motivation to have a better physical health as well. Personally, I am so thankful for the friendships that I made in my the HSSP community because they are so supportive and play a huge role in my mental well being.
    As far as avoiding negative social determinants of health, it depends on what determinant is being looked at. I think it would be hard to avoid something or somewhere that you are born into. For example, if the social determinant is biological, then there minimal action that can be done to avoid it. Unfortunately, a lot of the social determinants are similar to that. If a person was born into poverty and has minimal access to quality health care, then that is something that they cannot control and thus cannot be avoided. However, some social determinants can be controlled, such as individual behavior. If a person is an alcoholic or smokes cigarettes, that can have a detrimental affect of their health. If they change their behavior that is negatively impacting their health, then that negative social determinant can be avoided.

  11. I agree with you that when thinking of our health, we have to think of much more than just our physical health. Our mental and emotional health impacts how we perform. Before this lecture, I never really thought about other factors impacting my health. Now, I realize that all aspects of my life can impact my health. You brought up an interesting point about how abstract policy can impact our health in very real ways.

  12. Lexi, your blog post was very insightful. I like how you detailed the many layers of health beyond our physical wellness. I too would argue that our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Our interpersonal relationships definitely have an affect on our mental health. I also think that although females receive some disparities we can overcome negative determinants through societal developments. I don’t think we as a society would go back to having women pay more for health insurance if the ACA is actually repealed.

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