Balancing Act: Navigating the Social Determinants of Health

5 June 2024

Have you heard of the social determinants of health? Many might not recognize the term, but the concept is quite familiar.

Social determinants of health are non-medical factors influencing health outcomes, such as access to food, housing, income, social interaction, education, and job security. When these essentials are lacking, health can suffer.

Many people are precariously balanced on at least one of these factors. As the cost of living rises, more individuals are facing tough choices that can have an impact on their health.

In Nova Scotia, it’s becoming increasingly common for people to choose between paying rent and buying nutritious food, covering utility bills or purchasing medication, and prioritizing loved ones’ needs over their own. These difficult decisions affect people throughout the province.

While no single solution exists for these problems, many organizations are working to mitigate their effects on Nova Scotians’ health:

Recently, 211 Nova Scotia collaborated with Carly Mahew-Gallant and Therese McCurdy through the Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine’s Community Engaged Service-Learning program to create a video. This video highlights how 211 Nova Scotia addresses the social determinants of health and helps alleviate some burden on healthcare workers.

To watch the video, click here.

211 Nova Scotia is a free, confidential service connecting individuals with unmet needs to helpful resources. Trained 211 Nova Scotia Community Resource Navigators are available 24/7 to provide personalized support and connect you with local resources. Call or text 2-1-1 or visit our contact page to get connected.