What does it mean to “mobilize” community health?
Dr. Louise Potvin teaches in the Department of Social & Preventative Medicine at the Université de Montréal. In this talk, she discusses what it means to “mobilize health.” She explains that health is a combination of two things: 1) a person’s capacity to transform resources into health, and 2) his or her access to health-protecting resources. To mobilize health means to create more equitable access to health protecting resources within communities, and ensuring that all individuals have the capacity to access those resources. The four types of access are proximity, economic domain, institutional domain, and informal reciprocity. We must make it possible for people to work across these domains to create equitable access to health resources.
Dr. Potvin presents data from different Montreal neighborhoods that shows the correlation between education and access to health resources, with more highly educated people receiving the majority of the health-sustaining resources. She suggests that access can be achieved through population monitoring, supporting rich and diverse institutional environments, promoting regulation of the economic domain, and supporting vibrant community organizations. Mobilizing health means working with local actors from all domains to increase the correspondence between people’s capacities and entitlements, and the quality and quantity of local health resources.
Use this resource to
- better understand how individual capacity and accessibility of the social determinants combine to affect health outcomes
- initiate a discussion about community access to resources, rather than availability
- consider new ways to partner with community organizations to achieve a more equitable distribution of health