The wellness gap
We all want to live long healthy lives, but we don’t all have the same start in life and some of us face more hurdles in maintaining or improving our health.
We all know that some individuals are healthier than other individuals. Some people have an easier start in life than others – they are born healthy and into families that can provide a safe, nurturing environment. Our early years influence health and well-being throughout our lives.
It is also true that some groups of people are healthier than other groups. We know that education, income and social status have a big influence on health. Not everyone is able to get a good education, or a well-paying job. And some people experience prejudice and discrimination which prevents them from taking part in all aspects of community life.
The choices we make when it comes to our health are shaped by the opportunities we have.
To make progress on achieving health, wellness and a better quality of life for all Yukoners, we need to look at those groups who face the biggest challenges, and have the fewest options for improving their health. In Yukon, people with lower incomes, people living in rural Yukon and First Nations people have the poorest health and fewer options and opportunities for improving their health. We call the differences in health between the most healthy and least healthy groups of Yukoners the wellness gap.
Drawing: Paths to wellness
Have a look at this colourful graphic that illustrates the six dimensions of wellness, the key influences on our health, the wellness gap and what works to improve wellness. This picture was created for Pathways to Wellness by graphic facilitator, Avril Orloff.