The Health Foundation

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QuotationMarkLeft.png Our aim is a healthier population, supported by high quality health care that can be equitably accessed. We learn what works to make people’s lives healthier and improve the health care system. From giving grants to those working at the front line to carrying out research and policy analysis, we shine a light on how to make successful change happen.

We make links between the knowledge we gain from working with those delivering health and health care and our research and analysis. Our aspiration is to create a virtuous circle, using what we know works on the ground to inform effective policymaking and vice versa.

We believe good health and health care are key to a flourishing society. Through sharing what we learn, collaborating with others and building people’s skills and knowledge, we aim to make a difference and contribute to a healthier population. QuotationMarkRight.pngHealth Foundation About Us web page]

The Health Foundation website has published a number of very useful reports about public health in the UK.

The four 'assets' young people need for a healthy life

A recent Health Foundation report about the health of young people describes "the four "assets" needed for a healthy life".[1]

"In the first phase of work, the Health Foundation identified the factors and influences that young people felt that helped or hindered their transition to adulthood. Over 80 young people, aged between 22 – 26, participated in five engagement workshops across the UK. From these workshops, four assets were identified as central to their current life experiences.
  • "Right skills and qualifications: whether they had gained the academic or technical qualifications needed to pursue their preferred career.
  • "Personal connections: whether they had confidence in themselves and access to social networks or mentors* able to offer them appropriate advice and guidance on navigating the adult world. [Mentors here refers to any adult who is not a family member or partner. Mentors could be teachers, tutors, youth leaders, parents of friends or any other trusted adult.]
  • "Financial and practical support: direct financial support from their parents or carers, such as being able to live at home at no cost as well as practical assistance, including help with childcare.
  • "Emotional support: having someone to talk to, be open and honest with and who supports their goals in life. This could include parents or carers, partners and friends, as well as mentors.
"The initial engagement work showed that not all young people have these assets and whether or not they have them leads to particular patterns of experience, with some experiences reinforcing each other, and a number of broad groups emerging. For more information, see the Listening to our future report and the joint Health Foundation and Association for Young People’s Health working paper. A subsequent literature review supports the importance of these assets in providing young people with the best opportunity for a healthy life.
"In addition to these four assets, the housing and labour markets were repeatedly identified as external factors that affect their chances of a healthy future."