The activity of advocacy is a fundamental part of public health and is seen as an integral part of the vision, mission and values of Southwestern Public Health.
Advocacy represents the strategies developed, actions taken and solutions proposed to influence decision-making on a particular cause/issue. The purpose of advocacy is to create positive change for people and their environments. Individuals, organizations, businesses and governments can all engage in advocacy activities.
We can advocate for things like:
- A living wage
- More safe, affordable housing
- A broader transportation network
- Development of local gardens and increased access to healthy food.
Here at SWPH, we advocate for our clients and the community to ensure they have access to the services they need. We are currently in the process of developing an advocacy framework for use at the health unit for local advocacy initiatives.
- Contributes to overall economic productivity.
- Reduces costs to the healthcare system.
- Increases efficiency and cost effectiveness between Government Ministries and departments.
- Addresses the social factors known to impact population health. Healthier people lose fewer days of work and contribute to overall economic productivity.
- Improves collaboration across all sectors.
- Creates opportunities for health and wellbeing especially for individuals and populations who are under-resourced.
The creation of healthy public policies creates positive effects on the health of all Canadians through new policies or policy change. From education to agriculture to transportation to recreation, the laws, policies, and funding priorities at all levels of government affect people’s health.
See what issues you can support locally on SWPH’s Healthy Public Policy page.
And for more information on creating healthy public policy visit the National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy
Let’s Talk: Advocacy and Health Equity
From the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health
Healthy Public Policy
Statement for Health in All Policies
From the World Health Organization
Recommendations for Political Leaders: Health in All Policies
From the Ontario Public Health Association