Should Poverty be Seen as a Health Condition in Halton?

What do you think of when you hear the word poverty?

Some people may only associate poverty to money and financial issues, however, there is another aspect.

Health.

Our own personal health is often guided by genetics and choices we make, such as diet, smoking, drinking, and physical activity. Although, according to the Halton Region, our economic and social status also plays a big role in how healthy we are.

Residents who live in the most economically and socially deprived areas in the region or more likely to be hospitalized more frequently, visit emergency departments more frequently, and have higher rates of premature death.

According to a Poverty Assessment Tool, poverty requires intervention like any other major health issue or risk.

Common issues that can be linked to poverty can include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental illness, cancer, and other chronic conditions. Family physicians are being advised to factory poverty into clinical decision making regarding the issues listed.

How is Halton helping those who are in poverty?

According to the Halton Poverty Roundtable (HPRT), a collaborative multi-sector group made up volunteers committed to providing resources and partnership to eliminate poverty in the region, there is little understanding of issue of poverty in the general community.

According to the HPRT poverty impacts one in 10 residents.

With that being said, the Halton Region still provides aid to those who are living in poverty regarding financial assistance - there are social services, dental treatment aids, budgeting assistance, housing - emergency shelters and supportive housing, food programs - food banks, emergency food programs, community kitchens, food box programs, meals-on-wheels, wheels-to-meals, and grocery stores with charter bus services. In addition, the region also provides aid regarding mental health and addiction supports, legal assistance, where to find a doctor, sexual assault and domestic violence services for men, women, and children, children's services, employment services, long-term care homes, youth services, and transportation services.

For more information visit the Halton Region website.

Do you think poverty should be seen as a health condition?

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