The next approach is Societal change. This is also known as the radical approach since it aims to change the society instead of focusing on the individual directly, this can be achieved by raising awareness through local authorities, government, and communities. One of the many ways this approach aims to help the nation is by stopping people from smoking as it has lots of health implications tied to it.
It aims to do this by making smoking socially unacceptable. By doing this it can make it easier for individuals to stop smoking it or even cutting out the amount they consume on a regular basis. Cancer research has shown since the Smoking Free law 2007 legislation was applied to Britain there has been ‘a drop off 1.9 million smokers since this has been introduced’ (Forster, 2018). This approach ties in with the Social model of health. Social models of health, perceive that our wellbeing is impacted by an extensive variety of individual, interpersonal, association, social, natural, political and financial elements. They urge us to have a more profound comprehension of wellbeing than an attention on science, physiology and life systems and to perceive that “Health, and what makes people healthy, can only be fully understood by exploring the myriad of interactions and influences that emerge out of the complexities of human experience and the various inter-relationships of the mind, body, and society” (Yuill, Crinson and Duncan, 2010). There is a lot of confirmation that individuals who live in underestimated, low-financial groups are likely to die quicker, in comparison to those who live in a better environment and have a stable financial income along with higher social economic.
Another key element in which this approach is focusing on is that it involves on changing the current laws to promote a healthier lifestyle as a nation which would help everyone as opposed to targeting an individual directly. This is achieved by implementing new laws or changing current ones to help the society. However, if any laws are breached an act of punishment can be brought against them since the policies are well publicised and reported for individuals not to follow. Example based on this approach is the ‘Change 4 Life’ campaign that is being broadcasted all around the UK.
This campaign is raising awareness for children or even adults to increase their exercise intake along with eating healthy and balanced meals. Since this campaign is being spread across nationally it will raise awareness quicker and ensure that the country prevents diseases and chronic illness if left untreated or tackled heads on. Research based on this campaign has shown that “Nine out of 10 of our kids today could grow up with dangerous amounts of fat in their bodies. This can cause life-threatening diseases like cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease” (Nhs.uk, 2018). On the contrary, even though this approach is targeting society it does have some weakness linked to it, the first one being it may take some time for current and new laws to take full effect.
This would be a weakness as it is a debate amongst the nation and the government on current topics that are on news or policies that are being breached as well as it needs the support of the public for this to work. Throughout the years, creating new policies and legislation has not always gone down well, one being the Brexit protest. This caused a nation dispute with citizens battling with the government. Such a big protest lead to many people getting hurt a retaliating poor behavior to get their point across. Meanwhile, some individuals may feel that the new policies or legislation that is being set are not fair on their behalf since everyone goes through something personal in their lives. They may also think that the smoking ban is too harsh and disagree with the law. A clear example of how this approach is negative to some is that heavy smokers disagree with the new legislation being stripped as it stops them from feeling stress and anxious free since smoking is a coping mechanism for them.
In addition, some may say that laws are frequently broken e.g. underage drinking or taking illegal substances. Since a lot of adolescent children in more deprived areas are exposed to these things, they may not see this as an issue and find it the norm considering when something is made illegal such as drugs and alcohol they may retaliate and pushed them to ‘the back of the streets rather than preventing it’.