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From Public Health to Wellbeing

From Public Health to Wellbeing

Paul Walker | Marie John


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Book Details


There has never been more awareness of the public health agenda, as policy-makers
stress the importance of 'wellbeing'to the general public. But how can wellbeing be
defined and measured? Should the promotion of wellbeing lie at the heart of all policy
and legislation?
Charting the history and evolution of the public health agenda, this insightful reader argues
the place of wellbeing in local and national strategy. It identifies some of the critical events
that have influenced the development of public health systems, and looks at the challenges
for policy- makers and professionals in the formulation and delivery of effective strategies
for the future.
With contributions from academics and practitioners working within the public, voluntary
and private sectors, the book explores the challenges of defining and promoting wellbeing:

  • across the lifespan, from childhood and youth to older age
  • through a range of approaches, such as town planning and partnership working
  • within a variety of settings, including the workplace, the community and the National
    Health Service.

Grounded with grassroots examples of local strategy in action, From Public Health to
offers fresh insights into the promotion of wellbeing in thetwenty-first century. It is a
valuable resource for students of public health, health promotion, the social sciences and
social policy, as well as for any practitioner supporting health promotion within the
public, private or voluntary sector.
PAUL WALKER Lecturer in the Division of Integrated Health and Social Care, Department of Care Sciences, University of Glamorgan, UK.
MARIE JOHN Senior Lecturer in the Division of Integrated Health and Social Care, Department of Care Sciences, University of Glamorgan, UK.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Cover Cove
Contents v
List of Figures and Tables viii
Foreword by Professor Sir Mansel Aylward ix
Acknowledgements x
Notes on the Contributors xi
List of Abbreviations xiii
Introduction xv
1 On Public Health and Wellbeing 1
Introduction 1
The evolution of public health thinking and practice 1
Current issues 11
From public health to wellbeing: the path for progress 16
2 Wellbeing: Meaning, Definition, Measurement and Application 21
Origins and development of the concept of wellbeing 21
Wellbeing in modern theological, philosophical, political, psychological and social policy discourse 22
Wellbeing: what is our current understanding of the meaning of the word and the concept? 24
Relationship to other similar measures 25
Modern definitions 26
Wellbeing as the underlying objective of all social policy 28
The epidemiology of wellbeing 28
Can we measure wellbeing? 31
Established measures of wellbeing 36
Evaluating policies, programmes and projects for wellbeing 39
Appraisal and evaluation in central government: the Green Book 40
Wellbeing as positive psychology/wellbeing promotion 40
Conclusion 42
3 Wellbeing: A Guiding Concept for Health Policy? 47
Introduction 47
Peering beneath the surface of health policy 48
Wellbeing, politicians and managers 49
Wellbeing and the professionals 51
Wellbeing and citizens 53
Devolution within the UK 55
Conclusion 56
4 Wellbeing and Spatial Planning 58
Introduction 58
Wellbeing and the physical environment 59
Wellbeing, spatial planning and public health 62
Wellbeing and improving performance 66
Partnership in wellbeing and community planning 67
Measuring sustainable wellbeing 70
Wellbeing in new and expanded communities 72
Conclusion 75
5 Wellbeing and Children and Young People 79
A brief history of childhood 79
The increasing role of the state as protector and promoter of wellbeing 81
Inequality, development and well-being 82
Well-becoming: the legacy of child wellbeing for adult life 84
Redefining the role of the state and family 85
Defining and measuring wellbeing for children and young people 86
Current public attitudes 88
The evidence 89
Factors that influence wellbeing 90
Conclusion 91
6 Wellbeing and Older People 97
Definition of the older person 97
Factors that affect the wellbeing of older people 101
Conclusion 110
7 Wellbeing and Work 115
Introduction 115
Setting the context of work: contemporary careers 116
Current policy: the government response to the Black Report 118
Improving health, happiness and wellbeing 120
Unemployment 121
Ageing workforce 123
Conclusion 124
8 Wellbeing and Community Action 128
Engaging and developing communities 128
Community wellbeing: subjective and objective wellbeing 130
Individual capabilities 132
Community engagement as a wellbeing intervention 133
Case study: the Exploring Sustainable Wellbeing T 135
Measuring subjective wellbeing within communities 136
Implications for government policy: flip the paradigm 139
Conclusion 141
9 Partnership Working: The Lynchpin of Wellbeing 144
Introduction 144
Partnership in the public sector 146
Social capital and asset-based community development 147
Partnership working for health and wellbeing 151
Drivers for partnership working 155
Partnership and leadership 157
Partnership in practice 157
Conclusion 158
10 Drugs Policy: A Case Study for Applying the Wellbeing Framework 161
Introduction 161
Why do we use drugs? 164
Prohibition as a means of control 166
Legislation that could improve the conditions and wellbeing of people who use drugs 170
Reforming drug policy 171
Wellbeing 173
Conclusion 175
11 A Greatest Wellbeing Principle: Its Time Has Come 178
Perspectives on wellbeing: a synthesis 178
Essential steps to progress 180
A vision of the future 183
A critique of wellbeing 184
Afterword: is happiness the same as wellbeing? 186
Index 188