TALKMI I The ALK Mindfulness Initiative

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Social Determinants of Health

 

Social Determinants of Health

 

     The World Health Organization (WHO) defines social determinants of health (SDOH) as, the conditions and environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship and age. SDOH affect a wide range of health, functioning and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.5 The five domains of SDOH include: (1) economic stability; (2) education access and quality; (3) health care access and quality; (4) neighborhood and built environment; and (5) social and community context.6 SDOH have a major impact on people’s health, well-being and quality of life.

 

Examples include:

  • Safe housing, transportation and neighborhoods

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  • Racism, discrimination and violence

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  • Education, job opportunities and income

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  • Access to nutritious foods and physical activity opportunities

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  • Polluted air and water

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  • Language and literacy skills

     

     

How Does TALKMI Help?

 

     Each of the aforementioned examples may have impacted or currently impact the children and young people that TALKMI serves. These issues can be very difficult to comprehend, especially for younger children, and affect them in ways that they may not understand without support and proper guidance. For older children, these examples can be the source of considerable stress, insecurity, fear, anger and uncertainty. With information about SDOH in the context of the students that it serves, TALKMI uses everyday situations to practice mindfulness. This allows students to take their time and explore their feelings in the present moment in a gentle, supportive way without being judged. It also helps them to identify and manage their emotions more effectively and to develop a sense of compassion and understanding towards others. The objective is to show up in a way that provides children and young people with a safe environment to be loved, accepted, understood, seen and included.

"The objective is to show up in a way that provides children and young people with a safe environment to be loved, accepted, understood, seen and included."