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How to talk about the building blocks of health

If we want to change how the public understands health inequalities and to change policy, we need to change how we communicate about the wider determinants of health.
July 1, 2022

Almost every aspect of our lives impacts our health and ultimately how long we will live – our jobs and homes, access to education and public transport and whether we experience poverty or discrimination. These factors are often referred to as the wider determinants of health.

This toolkit sets out how we can frame communications to tell a more powerful story about health. This is to increase understanding of the role that the wider determinants play in our health, and support for action to address them.

The recommendations are based on a 4-year research project that tested the most effective ways to communicate about health, shifting debate from an individualistic perspective to one that recognises and addresses the wider determinants of health.

The toolkit is for anyone working and communicating in the field of public health. The recommendations apply whether you are speaking to a public, political, or expert audience – just shift the tone and emphasis to tailor the message.