The aim of this project is to improve overall health within children, young people and their families having unhealthy habits and lifestyles.
The project is implemented in geographical areas characterized by a high degree of immigrants and among people from lower social classes in communities facing great social challenges.
In line with the Second Health Programme and this annual work plan, it is the general objective of the project to develop a “community health counsellor” concept and associated training programme, enabling persons from informal community networks and organizations like youth clubs, local schools, sport clubs and ethnic associations to promote health among children, young people and their families. The training program focuses on the development of community-based knowledge, (inter)cultural understanding, coaching, communication- and empowerment skills and strategies for activities aimed at specific target groups.
The project aims at developing skills and competencies within ressource persons in local communities with social difficulties, that can assist these persons to reach families, children and young people with information and helth promoting knowledge, empowering them to evaluate their individual health situation and make them competent to change their lifestyle choices into more healthy ones. This is in line with the European strategy; "Together for all" and the strategy for Europe on nutrition, overweight and obesity related health issues, which focuses on e.g. empowered and better informed citizens, the importance of preventing health problems from an early age, involvement of different stakeholders from local communities and a recognition that health inequalities exsist, and that especially people from lower socio-economic groups suffer from bad health.
The project has four main phases:
1. Preparation phase
In order to establish a mutual ownership of the health promoting activities, concrete target areas and specific activities are described in a mutual and inclusive network based process. The network involves civil society actors, health workers from the municipality and staff from academic partners.
2. Training and promotion phase
The resource persons participate in the training program and implement local health promoting activities. The training focuses on target areas described by the networks from phase one.
3. Conceptualization phase
It is the aim of this phase to conceptualize the health counselor model of health promotion and this phase is based on the gathering of practical experiences from the actual training activities, in order to describe the specific contexts, conditions and processes in “pro” et “cons” for the implementation of the concept.
4. Dissemination phase
During the project all material will be shared on a European website.
The outcomes of the project will be visible both on a regional / local level and on a European level.
On the regional / local level the project will develop a model for mapping needs and possibilities for health promotion hereby providing a health profile for a specific socio-geographic setting. The model will focus on local health needs within children and their families, and their coverage through a combination of civil and public actors and activities. The health counselors will start to build up health improving activities halfway through the training-course.
On a European level the project will present a conceptual framework consisting of methods, guidelines and recommendations for efficient partnership collaboration in health promotion for children, young people and families with a specific focus of integration civil resources. The concept of health counselors will be available for communities and partnerships across Europe being able to adopt either the whole model or parts of it and shape it according to local needs and resources.