Big Challenges for Health Promotion

Big Challenges for Health Promotion
The most important task facing the health promotion sector is to help humanity change how we live in order to address “the converging crises of environmental degradation, climate change, resource depletion and social injustice”.

This was one of several challenges that UK expert Professor Mark Dooris issued to the Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA) conference in Sydney today.

Professor Dooris, Reader in Health and Sustainable Development and Director of the Healthy Settings Unit at the University of Central Lancashire, dared the health promotion sector to “envision a different future and to change the way we conceptualise, organise and live our individual, community and working lives”.

He urged conference delegates to develop “an ecological perspective” and identify “what makes places liveable, vibrant and enriching” so this can be applied “to the settings of everyday life”.

Professor Dooris said:

“In looking to such a future, it will be important to focus not only on the negatives – the very real risks and ‘doom and gloom’; but also on the positives – re-engaging with the environment and the wonder of the world around us; and recognizing that within upheaval lie the seeds of hope and empowerment, and the potential for us to engage and embrace the emergence of new possibilities for enhancing the wellbeing of place, people and planet.“

He suggested that the health promotion sector needs “to step outside of our comfort zone and engage with and learn from the movements for social justice, sustainable futures…
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