Social Determinants of Health

Purpose of Module

As a society we can often have a simplistic view of health. However, we know that many complex social factors have a significant impact on a person’s overall wellness. We are all impacted by social determinants of health in one way or another.

The Government of Canada has listed the following twelve factors as key Social Determinants of Health:

  1. Income and social status
  2. Employment and working conditions
  3. Education and Literacy
  4. Childhood experiences
  5. Physical environments
  6. Social supports and coping skills
  7. Healthy behaviours
  8. Access to health services
  9. Biology and genetic endowment
  10. Gender
  11. Culture
  12. Race/Racism

Understanding the social determinants of health will equip you to better understand and have empathy for others both in your work on campus and in your future endeavours. Knowing this will also serve as a guide in advocacy efforts.

In this module, we will dig into the many layers that can affect someone’s access to healthcare and well-being. In our society we have many inequities that affect individuals and people groups in various ways. When people have privilege and don’t encounter barriers in a certain area, they often aren’t even able to see inequity.

Learning Objectives

  1. You will be able to recognize and recall the Government of Canada’s identified 12 Social Determinants of Health.
  2. You will be able to explain how the complex social factors, including but not limited to economic status, social status, culture and gender affect health outcomes and health disparity.
  3. You will be able to demonstrate awareness of how these determinants of health create inequalities in our communities.
  4. You will explore and compile effective local strategies that are working towards improving systems and creating equity for people.

Core Values

Throughout this module, please consider and reflect on the Core Values. When you are finished going through this module, please come back to this page and jot down some thoughts about how you will apply the Core Values in your work related to this topic. If you need a refresh of the definition of the Core Values see the graphic at the end of this module.

  • Hope and Wholeness for All
  • Acknowledgement
  • Mutuality
  • Strength-Based
  • Self-Determination
  • Respect, Dignity, and Equity
  • Belonging and Community
  • Curiosity


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Post-Secondary Peer Support Training Curriculum Copyright © 2022 by Jenn Cusick is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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