Ensuring a strong community environment is crucial in order to promote health and alleviate health disparities. As depicted in the image, a community that is rich in resources from the ground up will result in the best health outcomes. Conversely, if community assets are low, it can exacerbate existing health pathologies and deteriorate social cohesion. Investing in the quality of our communities is what can allow us to break generation cycles of poverty, food insecurity, and health disparities.
For example, if a community is suffering from obesity, a community with strong community assets will be able to address this issue. A strong education system will promote healthy habits by offering health food options at lunch and educating kids about the benefits about healthy living. A clean built environment that is equipped with sidewalks, playgrounds, and outdoor activities will encourage physical activity and will dissuade sedentary lifestyles. These positive assets molded together are a viable method of solving health related issues in our communities.
In order to promote positive community assets, it begins at the individual level. People must be connected in order for sustainable community development to take place. With social cohesion, citizens can act as agents to promote positive community change and promote better health.