An asset-based approach: an alternative health promotion strategy?

Journal article citation:
Community Practitioner, 85(1), January 2012, pp.25-28.
Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association

Recently there has been a growth in the literature that has focused upon assets, or the positive attributes of both people and communities. These include children and young people's developmental assets, community asset mapping and public health. This paper explores the application of an asset based health promotion approach to a community context. Firstly, health assets are defined and relevant background information provided; this is followed by an assessment of the key areas that have had a direct impact upon the evolution of the approach, including community asset mapping and developmental assets. The paper considers an asset-based public health model and then continues by highlighting then potential application of an asset-focused health promotion strategy. The strengths and weaknesses of this approach are addressed. In conclusion, an asset-based approach has the potential to offer a viable alternative to the promotion of health and well-being.

Subject terms:
asset based approach, mental health, public health, capacity building, community health care, ecological approach, strengths-based approach;
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