Primer for Action – Social Determinants for Health


A resource for health and community workers, activists and local residents to understand how the social determinants of health impact chronic disease–and what we can do about it.

Many people in our society experience challenges in accessing these resources that can help them lead a healthy and full life. The challenges may be specific or may be structural. They may lack access because of poverty, homelessness, distance, or related reasons. They may be denied access because of racism or discrimination.

And because these determinants of health intersect with each other, they may face multiple exclusions and marginalizations, such that they may be unemployed, homeless, a new immigrant, have no support systems, and be suffering from a chronic illness. This contributes to health inequities. Inclusion is a way of creating a society is which all are able to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

Illustration of the social determinants of health and how Furniture Bank helps

We need shelter from the wind, the rain, the sun and the snow. All people need clean and safe homes in communities that create the feeling and reality of belonging. We need housing that is permanent, affordable, decent, and accessible for all if we are to realize our potential in society.


Health Nexus and Ontario Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance, Primer to Action: Social Determinants of Health, Toronto 2008


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