Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Peep into Policy, Politics, Parliament

Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Peep into Policy, Politics, Parliament

Article excerpt

Asset Based Approaches - the new concept in health improvement

The 27th of March saw the conference "Delivering Asset Based Approaches for Public Health: Responding to the Challenge", developed by the North of Scotland Public Health Network.

T he one day conference acted as an opportunity for participates to develop or increase their knowledge of asset based approaches. To clarify, an asset in this context is described as any resource, skill or knowledge which enhances the ability in individuals. Identifying these assets could enhance both the quality and longevity of lives in communities by focusing on the resources that promote the selfesteem and coping abilities of individuals and communities.

Sir Lewis Ritchie, Director of Public Health at NHS Grampian, opened the conference and acknowledged advances in public health, but also spoke of the scope for further developments. The primary guest speaker was Trevor Hopkins from Asset Based Consulting, who engaged everyone in a discussion around the asset based approach within the context of health and wellbeing. Trevor stressed the importance of individuals in the community when it comes to shaping their lives as well as that of others.

Despite extensive efforts to improve health, concern continues to grow over the widening gap in health inequalities between Scotland and the rest of the UK. New thinking about how to address this more effectively is therefore developing.

Primary care has been working towards a deficit approach in health, which looks more at identifying problems, when everyone (health, charity, third sectors and many more) should now be looking at it from the other way around, by looking at people and what assets they have to bring to the table without focusing primarily on their problems. …

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