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Social determinants of health resources

These are resources for health professionals, consumers and carers seeking information about services, programs and research related to the Social Determinants of Health.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework

A suite of products that give the latest information on how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia are faring according to a range of 68 performance measures across the 3 Health Performance Framework tiers: Tier 1 - health status and outcomes, Tier 2 - determinants of health, and Tier 3 - health system performance.

Evidence Aboriginal health

Aboriginal Health Impact Statement

The purpose of the Aboriginal Health Impact Statement is to support NSW Health organisations and staff to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal people by systematically applying an ‘Aboriginal health lens’ to all policies, programs and strategies.

Tool Aboriginal health

Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey, Summary Results, Australia, 2006 - 4228.0 (Reissue)

This publication presents information from the 2006 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALLS). The results from ALLS will assist in answering questions of whether Australians' literacy skills are adequate for the challenges they face in work and daily life.

Evidence All

The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI)

TACSI’s purpose is to create healthier, better lives for people by partnering with Australian and international organisations and communities to bring about social innovation and change. TASCI’s work concentrates in four areas: disrupting disadvantage, furthering self-determination, redesigning ageing and activating social health to develop replicable approaches to social innovation.

Service Aboriginal health CALD communities Employment and work Housing Poverty Social exclusion

The Australian Loneliness Report

The Australian Loneliness Report, released by the Australian Psychological Society and Swinburne University 9 November 2018, found 1 in 2 (50.5%) Australians feel lonely for ≥ 1 day in a week, while more than 1 in 4 (27.6%) feel lonely for ≥3 days and it affects both genders and almost all age groups. The results from a survey of 1,678 Australians showed that nearly 55% of the population feel they lack companionship at times. Lonely Australians, when compared with their less lonely counterparts, reported higher social anxiety and depression, poorer psychological health and quality of life, and fewer meaningful relationships and social interactions. Loneliness increased a person’s likelihood of experiencing depression by 15.2% and the likelihood of social anxiety increases by 13.1%. People with higher rates of loneliness are also more likely to have poorer physical health.One in four Australians are lonely, which affects their physical and mental health

Evidence Residential environment Social exclusion Mental Health

Australian Red Cross: Homelessness services

The Australian Red Cross provides a range of services to assist people find safe, secure and affordable housing.

Service Housing Residential environment Socio-economic position

Australia’s Health 2018

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's 16th biennial report on the health of Australians. It examines a wide range of contemporary topics in a series of analytical feature articles and short statistical snapshots. Chapter 4 Determinants of health provides and easy to read overview of key social determinants of health and provides rationale for their influence on health in an Australian context.


Barnardos Australia

Barnardos Australia works with families, young people and children to break the cycle of disadvantage, creating safe, nurturing and stable homes, connected to family and community.

Service Drug and alcohol Housing Poverty Socio-economic position Mental Health

Beyond Blue

It is estimated three million Australians are living with anxiety or depression. Beyond Blue is an Australian independent non-profit organisation improving the lives of individuals, families and communities affected by issues associated with depression, suicide, anxiety disorders and other related mental health challenges.

Service Aboriginal health CALD communities Drug and alcohol Rural health Social exclusion Mental Health

Boyer Lectures – Fair Australia: Social Justice and the Health Gap

The 2016 Boyer Lecture Series turns a critical eye towards health policy. Epidemiologist Professor Sir Michael Marmot discusses how social determinants such as birthplace and income can have a greater effect on our lives than access to healthcare.


Close The Gap - 10 Year Review (2018)

This review assesses the most significant national effort to date to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health: the 2008 Council of Australian Governments’ Closing the Gap Strategy with its target to achieve life expectancy (health) equality by 2030.

Evidence Aboriginal health

Closing the Gap

Closing the Gap aims to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians with set targets aimed at eliminating the gap in outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Evidence Tool Aboriginal health

Closing the Gap Report 2019

The annual report to Parliament on progress in Closing the Gap.

Evidence Aboriginal health

A conceptual framework for action on the social determinants of health

Used to inform the work of the global Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH), and builds on previous frameworks with a focus on action not just description as well as how the health system is a social determinant as well as socially determined.


The Cost of Inaction on the Social Determinants of Health

The findings of the report confirm that the cost of government inaction on the social determinants of health leading to health inequalities for the most disadvantaged Australians of working age is substantial.


Counting the cost of UK poverty

This report estimates the public financial cost of poverty which comes from additional spending on public services when people need more support from the state.

Evidence Poverty

Dying young in Stockton - England’s most unequal town: Health inequalities in UK

A BBC story which discusses the different health outcomes for different socioeconomic groups in the UK. According to the article nationally, on average, a boy born in one of the most affluent areas of England will outlive one born in one of the poorest parts by 8.4 years.

Evidence Employment and work Housing Poverty Residential environment Socio-economic position

Equity, social determinants and public health programmes

Chapter 1 provides a conceptual framework for assessing how differential health outcomes might result among individuals and some groups in the population. Chapters 2-13 apply this framework to specific public health conditions and related risk factors such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, alcohol, and tobacco use.


The Forgotten Aim: Health Equity

To some, health equity is the 'forgotten aim' of improvement. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s collection of resources on health equity, featuring a popular video series on the imperative for health care to reduce disparities and inequities.

Evidence CALD communities Employment and work Housing Poverty Residential environment Socio-economic position

Friends for Good

Friends for Good is the first charity in Australia focussing solely on loneliness and the FriendLine is its first official service. The support line, supported by the Victorian Government, is available for anyone who needs to reconnect, feels lonely or just wants a chat. Friends for Good is planning a range of services including events and ‘Pastime Partners’, a service matching volunteers with seniors to create new friendships.

Service Social exclusion Mental Health


Headspace is an Australia-wide service providing information and support to young people experiencing challenges with mental health and wellbeing.

Service Mental Health

Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On

This report has been produced by the Institute of Health Equity and commissioned by the Health Foundation to mark 10 years on from the landmark study Fair Society, Healthy Lives (The Marmot Review).The report highlights that: people can expect to spend more of their lives in poor health; improvements to life expectancy have stalled, and declined for the poorest 10% of women; the health gap has grown between wealthy and deprived areas; and place matters – living in a deprived area of the North East is worse for an individual’s health than living in a similarly deprived area in London, where life expectancy is nearly five years less.

Evidence Employment and work Housing Poverty Residential environment Social exclusion Mental Health

Health Foundation UK: What makes us healthy?

The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK. This link features publications, an information video, infographics and other material exploring social determinants and ways to achieve a healthier society.

Evidence Employment and work Housing Nutrition Poverty Socio-economic position Mental Health

Health in All Policies a manual for local government

Health in All Policies (HiAP) is a collaborative approach to improving the health of all people by incorporating health considerations into decision-making across sectors and policy areas. This manual brings together the arguments for a HiAP approach with practical suggestions for development at the local level.


Health Justice Australia

Health Justice Australia is a national charity supporting health justice partnership. These collaborations between health and legal services embed legal help into healthcare teams and settings to address health-harming legal need. Operating in both hospitals and community health settings, health justice partnerships address everyday issues like mould in housing or money problems like fines and debt, through to more acute problems such as family violence, child protection and elder abuse.

Service Employment and work Housing Mental Health

Hoarding and Squalor

This site provides support for people living with situations of hoarding and squalor. It provides information, links to support services and resources.

Tool Poverty Residential environment

HSNet Service Directory

The HSNet Service Directory is a comprehensive online list of services in NSW, listing detailed information about organisations across a variety of sectors including health, welfare, community, education, disability, aged care, legal, housing and more.


Improving health through the home: a checklist for local plan and policies

A resource providing guidance around how to review local plans to make sure they consider home and housing circumstances, and their effect on health.

Tool Housing

Innov8 approach for reviewing health programmes

An 8-step analytic process undertaken by a multidisciplinary review team resulting in recommendations to improve program performance through concrete action to address health inequities, support gender equality and the progressive realisation of universal health coverage and the right to health, and address critical social determinants of health.


King’s Fund Report “Delivering health and care for people who sleep rough: going above and beyond”

The UK health and care system has a critical role to play in improving health and care for people experiencing rough sleeping. Many people who sleep rough experience a toxic combination of struggles over personal safety, food, shelter and ill health that most of the wider population find difficult to truly understand.  Overall, this group of people experience some of the worst health and care outcomes in the country. This report from the UK’s King’s Fund outlines the research and strategies to improve the health outcomes for people who are sleeping rough.,6RAEJ,FLWSV7,R0I8G,1

Evidence Housing Poverty Residential environment Social exclusion Mental Health

The Marmot Review 10 Years On

The Health Foundation is working with Professor Sir Michael Marmot and his team at the Institute of Health Equity to examine progress in addressing health inequalities in England and propose recommendations for future action. While there has been progress in some areas since The Marmot Review was published in 2010, there is growing evidence that health inequalities are widening and life expectancy is stalling. In this video Professor Sir Michael Marmot and Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive of the Health Foundation, explain why this review is needed. The new report, Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On, will be published in February 2020, on the 10-year anniversary of the original review.

Evidence CALD communities Employment and work Housing Poverty Residential environment Social exclusion Socio-economic position

The Marmot Review: Fair Society, Healthy Lives

Sir Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London, was asked in 2008 by the then Secretary of State for Health to chair an independent review proposing effective evidence-based strategies to reduce health inequalities in England from 2010. The final report, 'Fair Society Healthy Lives', was published in February 2010.

Evidence CALD communities Employment and work Housing Poverty Residential environment Social exclusion Socio-economic position

Mission Australia

Mission Australia provides a range of services assisting vulnerable people including housing, alcohol and other drugs, employment and training, family and children and disability inclusion and support.

Service Drug and alcohol Housing Poverty Socio-economic position Mental Health

Miwatj Health Service

Miwatj Health Service is in Nhulumbuy (Gove) in the Top end of the Northern Territory. Miwatj is leading change to address the social determinants of health in East Arnhem. A Social Determinants summit was held in Darwin in May 2018 to establish a framework for planning, service delivery, evaluation and research for east Arnhem communities. Embedding Indigenous empowerment and individual development were the core tenants of interventions to improve social determinants, and to respond to their consequences in East Arnhem land.

Evidence Aboriginal health

My Life My Lead - Opportunities for strengthening approaches to the social determinants and cultural determinants of Indigenous health

The Implementation Plan Advisory Group My Life My Lead consultations 2017 provided an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and leaders, government and the non-government and private sector to help shape the next Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023. The learnings from the consultations are summarised in this report.

Evidence Aboriginal health

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

The national peak body representing the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across the country on Aboriginal health and wellbeing issues.

Evidence Service Aboriginal health

Positive Life NSW

Positive Life NSW works to promote a positive image of people living with and affected by HIV to eliminate prejudice, isolation, stigma and discrimination. Information and targeted referrals are provided and the organisation advocates to change systems and practices that discriminate against people living with HIV, their partners, friends, family and carers in NSW.

Service Employment and work Housing Residential environment Social exclusion

Poverty: A clinical tool for primary care providers

This clinical tool offers specific resources to help healthcare providers screen for and respond to poverty concerns in patient encounters, particularly when caring for underserved, vulnerable, and marginalised populations.

Tool Poverty

Primary Care Interventions in Poverty

Canadian tools for screening for poverty ways to 'prescribe income' for clinicians, includes the Poverty Tool for Primary Care.

Tool Poverty

Putting our own house in order: examples of health-system action on socially determined health inequalities

This publication is intended to give policy advisers, policy entrepreneurs and those who work within health systems a better understanding of the key issues related to taking action on socially determined health inequalities.

Evidence All

PWC report “Action required: The urgency of addressing social determinants of health”

In their report released in September 2019, PwC lays out five steps for bold action that organisations can take to lead in a world in which social determinants assume a more prominent role. The research is backed by results from a global survey conducted by PwC’s Health Research Institute, along with interviews with healthcare leaders and analysis of dozens of case studies.

Evidence Employment and work Housing Poverty Residential environment Social exclusion Mental Health

Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Employment, Poverty and Health

As part of the RACP’s larger Employment, Poverty and Health project, the RACP has developed two documents in the area of social determinants: an evidence review and statement of principles. The project is being led by the Australasian Faculty of Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Evidence Employment and work Housing Poverty Socio-economic position


An Australian suicide prevention charity inspiring people to meaningfully connect and support those struggling with life. The charity states that you don't need to be an expert to reach out, just a good friend and a good listener. It provides simple and valuable tools for people to check in with those that might be struggling with life. It offers a 4 step conversation: 1. Ask R U OK?, 2. Listen, 3. Encourage action, 4. Check-in.

Service Social exclusion Mental Health

Rural Health Network Resources

Resources relating to the healthcare of people in major regional centres and coastal cities, small towns and remote communities.

Rural health

Social determinants of health

WHO Social Determinants of Health network website. Includes resources and news.


Social Determinants of Health Series

A series of discussion and briefing papers on working with other sectors including housing, education, transport, energy and social protection.


Social determinants of health: The solid facts

The Solid Facts identifies 10 social determinants of health. Key research sources are given for each of the identified determinants with suggestions on possible policy interventions.


Social Prescribing

How general practitioners can link people in disadvantaged circumstances into social services and activities to combat loneliness and social isolation and associated poor health outcomes.

Evidence Residential environment Social exclusion Socio-economic position Mental Health

Social Prescribing: Coffee Mornings, Singing Groups, and Dance Lessons on the NHS

This British Medical Journal article covers social prescribing initiatives in the UK including the Bromley by Bow Centre in London, where staff help patients access more than 30 local services, from swimming lessons to legal advice and the My Script service, available in 27 GP surgeries in Bath and north east Somerset. In a survey of GPs at least a fifth of consultations concern psychosocial problems such as housing, employment, and personal relationships, which the conventional medical model is ill equipped to address.  Many GPs said that they already regularly referred patients to community activities and 40% said they would if they knew what services were available.

Evidence Social exclusion Mental Health

Social prescribing: linking patients with non-medical support

Social prescribing moves beyond a strictly medical model for general practitioners and other primary care professionals to acknowledge that environmental and social factors such as loneliness, inadequate housing and financial stress have significant impacts upon an individual’s physical and emotional health.The model enables patients, whose health or mental health is affected by non-medical factors, to be referred to a range of community services that can assist people with these issues.

Evidence Social exclusion Mental Health

The Surprising Effects of Loneliness on Health

Article summarising evidence of social isolation on health.

Evidence Social exclusion

Sydney Women’s Counselling Centre

A women’s only safe space committed to providing a service that can support the psychological and emotional well-being of women through a range of counselling services, group programs and educational, information and referral services.

Service CALD communities Drug and alcohol Housing Socio-economic position Mental Health

Tools and Strategies to Effectively and Sustainably Address Patients’ Social Needs

Recognising the impact of social determinants on health outcomes, the Commonwealth Fund in the US has supported development of two tools that can make social interventions a core part of health care organisations’ business models.

Tool Housing Poverty Socio-economic position

What is Social Prescribing?

This article defines social prescribing and provides a history and evidence from the UK.

Evidence Social exclusion Mental Health

Working for health equity: the role of health professionals

This 2013 report from the Institute of Health Equity, by Matilda Allen, Jessica Allen, Sue Hogarth and Sir Michael Marmot, highlights the often under-used role health professionals can play in improving the conditions of people’s lives and reducing health inequalities.

Evidence Employment and work Housing Poverty Socio-economic position

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