An asset-based approach : an alternative health promotion strategy?
Whiting, L.; Kendall, S.; Wills, W.
Citation: Whiting , L , Kendall , S & Wills , W 2012 , ' An asset-based approach : an alternative health promotion strategy? ' Community Practitioner , vol 85 , no. 1 , pp. 25-28 .
In recent years there has been an enormous growth in the literature that has focused upon assets, or emphasising the positive attributes of both people and communities. These include children and young people's developmental assets, community asset mapping and public health. This paper considers the application of an asset based health promotion approach to a community context. Health assets are defined and relevant background information provided; this is followed by examination of the key areas that have had a direct impact upon the evolution of the approach, including salutogenesis, community asset mapping and developmental assets. The paper considers an asset-based public health model and then continues by illustrating, with the use of a practice-based scenario, the potential application of an asset-focused health promotion strategy; this insight provides health visitors and school nurses with the opportunity to reflect upon its applicability and appropriateness. Recognition of the strengths and weaknesses of this alternative approach to health promotion are addressed. The paper concludes by suggesting that an asset-oriented approach is not without its challenges, but that it has the potential to offer a viable alternative to the promotion of health and wellbeing.