Skip to main content
Knowledge Exchange Portico Network
Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthKnowledge Exchange
Go Search


From: Best practice guidelines for mental health promotion programs: Older adults 55+ (© 2010, 2011 CAMH)

Accessibility: A measure of the proportion of a population that can access appropriate health services. For example, cultural accessibility considers whether access to health services is impeded by language, cultural taboos, beliefs or values.

Best practices: “Best practices in health promotion are those sets of processes and activities that are consistent with health promotion values/goals/ethics, theories/beliefs, evidence, and understanding of the environment, and that are most likely to achieve health promotion goals in a given situation” (Kahan & Goodstadt, 2005, p. 8*).

Capacity building: “Work that strengthens the capability of communities to develop their structures, systems, people and skills so that they are better able to define and achieve their objectives, engage in consultation and planning, manage community projects and take part in partnership. It includes aspects of training, organizational and personal development and resource building organized in a planned and self-conscious manner reflecting the principles of empowerment and equality” (Skinner, 1997, quoted by Bush, 1999*).

Community action: The collective efforts of communities directed toward increasing community control over the determinants of health, and thereby improving the health status of the community as a whole.

Community development: Any action that engages community members with the potential to transform local conditions in a positive way. Community development should emphasize the building of social relationships and communication networks, and contribute to the social well-being of community members.

Community health education (or health education in the community): Community health education is concerned not only with the communication of information, but also with fostering life skills, confidence and overall community health.

Determinants of health: These are based on the understanding that health is determined by complex interactions between social and economic factors, the physical environment and individual behaviour. Most of the time, the term refers to non-lifestyle factors such as income, shelter, peace, food and employment.

Equity/inequities: Equity in health status is the presence of the same levels of health, even between groups with different levels of socio-economic status (wealth, power or prestige). Inequities in health are differences in health status between groups of people that correspond to their respective levels of social advantage or disadvantage.

Health education: See Community health education.

Healthy public policy: Healthy public policy is characterized by explicit attention to health and equity in all areas of policy development, including non–health sector policies. Healthy public policy should be a collective effort across sectors, directed at creating healthy social and physical environments (World Health Organization, 1988*).

Risk conditions: The social, political, environmental or biological conditions that are associated with, or cause, increased susceptibility to a specific disease, ill health or injury (Nutbeam, 1998*). Risk conditions (e.g., substandard housing) are usually a result of unhealthy public policy and may be modified through collective action and social reform (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2002*).

Self-efficacy: “People’s beliefs about their capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that exercise influence over events that affect their lives. Self-efficacy beliefs determine how people feel, think, motivate themselves, and behave” (Bandura, 1994*).

Social support networks: Help available to individuals from friends, family, co-workers and others within communities that can provide a buffer against adverse life events and living conditions, and can provide a positive resource for enhancing quality of life (Nutbeam, 1998*).


In Best practice guidelines for mental health promotion programs: Older Adults 55+

Bookmark and Share