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What are the social determinants of health?

Social determinants include with social disadvantage such as low levels of education, unemployment, poverty and living circumstances

Social factors affecting mental health are often the most impactful and extensive.

Mental health issues and disorders occur on a social gradient. This means they are more common in areas of social disadvantage including low levels of education, unemployment, poverty and hostile household, neighbourhood or country circumstances.

Significant gaps in the prevention and treatment of mental health issues exist between people from high-income and low-income countries, between men and women, and between people from different social backgrounds within countries. (WHO 2014).

Your task

Watch the video of Associate Professor Adrienne O’Neil, Group Leader of the Heart and Mind Research Group at the Food & Mood Centre, Deakin University, discussing social determinants of mental health.

Reflect on your own experiences in health and in mental health. You might like to consider the following question:

  • What can be done to improve social injustice associated with mental health in your country and globally?

Share your thoughts and experience in the comments.

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Food and Mood: Improving Mental Health Through Diet and Nutrition

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