It Takes a VillageSocial Determinants of Health > Frameworks
Healthy People 2020 Framework
Healthy People 2020 is a project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. A foundational piece of their work is organized around measuring and addressing five areas of social determinants of health.
- Good mental health is integral to human health and well-being.
- A person’s mental health and many common mental disorders are shaped by social, economic, and physical environments.
- Populations are made vulnerable by deep-rooted poverty, social inequality and discrimination. Social arrangements and institutions, such as education, social care, and work have a huge impact on the opportunities that empower people to choose their own course in life.
- Risk factors for many common mental disorders are heavily associated with social inequalities, whereby the greater the inequality the higher the inequality in risk.
- In order to reduce these inequalities and reduce the incidence of mental disorders overall, it is vital that action is taken to improve the conditions of everyday life, beginning before birth and progressing into early childhood, older childhood and adolescence, during family building and working ages, and through to older age.
- As mental disorders affect physical health these actions would also reduce inequalities in physical health and improve health overall.
A Public Health Approach to Understanding Mental Health
As knowledge has expanded throughout history we have moved from a “bad air” theory of health and mental health to 150 years of pendulum swings (nature versus nurture).
As we move into the 21st Century we are beginning to embrace an “and” approach to understanding health and mental health, which requires an understanding of the Social Determinants of Mental Health.
The following diagram illustrates the components of the social determinants of mental health.
The Social Determinants of Mental Health: An Overview and Call to Action (January 2014).
Healthy People 2020 has identified four Neighborhood and Built Environment Determinants.
- Access to Healthy Foods
- Quality of Housing
- Crime and Violence
- Environmental Conditions
Neighborhood and Built Environment Objectives
Several Neighborhood and Built Environment Objectives have been identified, including:
AH-11.1: Reduce the rate of minor and young adult perpetration of violent crimes
AH-11.2: Reduce the rate of minor and young adult perpetration of serious property crimes
EH-1: Reduce the number of days the Air Quality Index (AQI) exceeds 100, weighted by population and AQI
IVP-29: Reduce homicides
IVP-33: Reduce physical assaults
IVP-42: Reduce children’s exposure to violence
Neighborhood and Built Environment Improvement Strategies
GTECH Strategies is an example of innovation in neighborhood development and vacant land use.
GTECH Strategies: Growth Through Energy and Community Health: https://gtechstrategies.org/ Pittsburgh, PA
Colorado Health Foundation Re-Built is an example of a healthy places primer to build the future: https://www.coloradohealth.org/uploadedFiles/Publications/Health_Elevations/Health_Elevations_Spring_2014/HealthElevations_Summer2014.pdf