Health promotion programs are designed to improve and protect the well-being of the public by ensuring that people have access to proper healthcare services. These programs are usually developed to empower individuals to make better lifestyle and health choices that would promote their ability to reduce the risks of diseases and disabilities. The assigned community for this project will be the Living Room Art Studio, which is located in Oshawa, a city in Ontario, Canada. The assigned population will be homeless people, women and men struggling with drug addiction, older adults, poor families, children, and people from nearby men and women shelters who use the studio for painting. Most of the people who utilize the services provided by the agency are from marginalized communities within Oshawa. The Living Room Art Studio is a caring and friendly studio that welcomes people who want to learn different forms of art or simply enjoy the artwork. It offers the community opportunities to create artistic works for low costs or free and ensures that breakfast is prepared daily for those who cannot afford their meals. The art studio also offers the community members low commission community art exhibits and sales, which enables them to generate their own income. The agency relies on donations from well-wishers and the government. The facility connects people through shared love for arts and opportunities to learn different art skills from each other.
Core Elements: Community
The Oshawa community is the regional municipality for Durham County in the southeastern region of Ontario, Canada. The city growth began when people started moving to Oshawa in the mid-1800s. Its growth since then was characterized by the development of public amenities and job opportunities. The city’s name originates from an Indian reference that means a stream crossing. The city is rich in arts and cultural assets. It has numerous cultural businesses that support the locals and is renowned for its cultural events and festivals. The events carried out in the city have been passed down from one generation to the other (Oshawa, 2020). These events represent the diversity of people in the city.
According to the national census, Oshawa had a population of 290,704 in 2011, which increased to 308,875 in 2016. There was a 6.3% population change between 2011 and 2016. In 2016, the population density per square kilometers was 1998.3. Of the 308,875 people living in the community, 150,505 are male and the rest are female. Individuals aged between 15 and 64 years form the largest part of the population and are followed by those between 65 and 85 years, whose population accounts for 14.5% of the people in Oshawa. The average age of the population was 39.5 while the median age is 40.1 (Statistics Canada, 2016). The population data of the community shows that most of the people are in the middle adulthood stage.
In term of housing and dwelling facilities, majority of the people living in this community live in single-detached houses, apartments, or row houses. The number of people living in different types of private households is 305,320. While the majority of the people understand the official languages, English and French, most of them either use English only or English and French. 72.9% of people living in the city have access to employment income while the rest rely either on their businesses. Most of the people in the city have postsecondary certificate diplomas, secondary (high) school certification, and (Statistics Canada, 2016). The availability of houses suggests that most people in the city have secure dwelling places.
Values and Beliefs
Some of the values and beliefs held by people living in this city include the importance of equality, respect for different cultures, upholding peace and safety, conservation of natural resources, and maintaining politeness. The Canadian law, which governs the country, sensitizes the need to promote equality among men and women, heterosexuals and the LGBTQ+ community, and people from different races. Most of the Canadians who were born outside the country bring different cultures with them, which are celebrated as part of the diversification of cultures in the country. This is also common in the Oshawa community where the majority of the people are practice different cultures based on what they have picked from others in the community of their adoption of cultures from other countries. With many of the world’s natural wonders being in the country, Canadians including those living in Oshawa, value and respect nature.
Core Elements: Population
Most of the individuals using the Living Room Art Studio center have been using the facility since it was launched in the area. The population shared characteristics like the love for art, inability to purchase or access the art materials such as canvases, paint, paintbrushes, among other things. The community members have been creating artwork as a way of filling their time with creativity and using their talent to create artwork that can be sold to generate an income. They have been using the Living Room Art Studio to develop their artistic skills and learn about health promotion strategies. Most of them heard about the clinical agency from other community members who had benefitted through its services.
The population of the registered community members using the clinical agency ranged between 200 and 500 during different months. The variations in the number were based on the facility’s policy of offering anyone the opportunity of walking in the studio creating artwork and leaving. The number of community members at the facility per day would range between 30 and 100 in a day depending on the type of activities that were being held at the agency. The population of community members using the facility would be higher on days associated with activities such as art exhibitions and health promotion discussions. Most of the registered members ranged between 19 and 65 years. There were more females than males at the studio. Most of the participants came from marginalized areas in the community. The population was characterized by poverty, reduced ability to access quality healthcare services. Most of the people were individuals dealing with drug addiction, homeless people, poor families, and people from the men and women shelters in the community.
In terms of education levels, most of the community members using the facility had attained some form of basic education. A large number of population had graduated high school. However, they were unable to find other forms of employment to sustain them and their families. Based on an assessment of the community members using the Living Room Art Studio, most of the community members who use the Art Studio have developed their talents by learning from other local artists at the art studio.
Values and Beliefs
The population selected believed that anyone could be an artist as long as they were dedicated. This was one of the beliefs upheld at the facility to ensure that the individuals who went there to paint understood their potential and did not look down on each other. Other values held by the people that were instilled in them through the educational services offered at the facility included the belief that they were worthy and loved, they could overcome anything, and they were important. The Living Room Art Studio also promotes equality for all by encouraging people from different background to use the facility for painting. This approach has made individuals from marginalized areas of the community and those struggling with different addictions to feel wanted and welcomed in the community.
Health and Social Services
Health and social services in communities determine their abilities to work towards improving the overall health and well-being of their community members. Better access to health and social services increases promotes the provision of evidence-based behavioral health treatment and professional growth in communities affected by addiction, poverty, or homelessness (Zerden, Lombardi, & Jones, 2019). There are several community social service centers available in Oshawa that offer community members from the poverty-stricken area, disabled individuals, those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, and homeless people both financial and health-related assistance to manage their problems. Some of these facilities include the Ontario, Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services that offers individuals with disabilities and those living in marginalized communities, financial support to manage their living expenses like food and housing. Other facilities include the Oshawa senior community, Heart to Home Meals, and Durham Hospice (Whitby This Week, 2020). These services support local communities.
Oshawa, Ontario is an economically developed city. Its economic growth can be attributed to the establishment of strategic activities that promote access to jobs and investment opportunities. Some of the key activities include downtown revitalization, the city’s involvement in commercial and industrial investments, working with the existing businesses in the city and making them the foundation for further investments, encouraging the growth of the post-secondary educational institutions in the city, and strategically managing the City’s infrastructure assets. The city also promotes and leverages the key arts and cultural events, which acts as additional assets of the city (Oshawa, 2020). This explains the importance of the Living Room Art Studio as a community program in the city.
Most of the people in the city are educated and attained their post-secondary certification. According to the 2016 national census, the data collected for Oshawa city showed that approximately 130,570 people had obtained their post-secondary certification, 76,110 had a secondary(high) school diploma, 16,350 had an apprentice or trades certificate, 42,630 did not have a certificate or degree, and approximately 64,000 had a college or university diploma. The major fields of study in the city were visual and performance arts, communication technology, aboriginal and foreign languages, liberal arts, philosophy and religion, mathematics, health-related courses, engineering, and construction trades (Statistics Canada, 2016). This suggests that the population in the city is well-educated. It also shows that people are skilled in different careers.
Health and Social Services
In the selected population, despite the availability of health and social services within the community, some of the families or individuals complained that healthcare services were expensive, which affected their ability to seek those services. They also reported that they were unaware of the existence of some of the social services in the city. Their knowledge of the existence of the Living Room Art Studio had been based on the art studio’s interaction with the community and word of mouth.
While the overall economy of the city is stable, this community is affected by poverty. Some of the factors contributing to poverty in this community include marginalization of the area, high rates of homelessness and drug addiction, and low education levels. The Living Room Art Studio has promoted the economy of the area through the artworks created and sold by those who utilize the facility. The low commission and free lessons offered to the members of the community also enables them to benefit from selling their art-works.
Unlike the rest of the city, this population is characterized by low education levels. Some of the poverty-stricken families failed to complete their education due to lack of finances and opted to drop out and find alternative sources of income. Those who were educated by stated using drugs and developed addictions also contribute to the low education levels among the population. Some of the individuals in the population reported disinterest in education because of their inability to get jobs after attaining a certain level of education.
The Living Room Art Studio has been effective in bringing together people from marginalized areas in the community who struggle with issues such as poverty, homelessness, and addiction. I noticed its effectiveness after witnessing the transformation in some of the community members who utilized the Living Room Art Studio. Some of those who had started using the program because of the free breakfast offered had begun participating actively in the health education talks conducted at the facility. They had also expressed interest in getting help to overcome their addictions and get their lives back in line. Those who were homeless and did not have a source of income expressed their interest in learning how to paint and working with experienced artists. They were dedicated to improving their lives through art. The low commission costs associated with the Living Room Art Studio also made it possible for them to sell their artwork through the facility. As such, aside from providing the community members who were affected by addiction, poverty, or were homeless with a recreational facility, the Living Room Art Studio also offers them a place where they can create and sell their artwork.
Community Members Perceptions
When questioned about the impact of the Living Room Art Studio in their lives, the members of the community reported that they had seen significant changes in the behaviors of those who used the facility. Some of the changes noted include reduced likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors, rehabilitation of those who were addicted to alcohol or drugs, and cleanliness among the homeless people and addicts who used the facility. There were also reports on the increased number of poor people, addicts, and homeless people who had managed to start their art businesses after learning how to paint from the facility and getting assistance from the healthcare providers who managed addiction cases and offered health-related education to the people.
The identified gap in the agency is based on the need to provide the population with healthcare education regularly. The Living Room Art Studio focuses on assisting the affected population by offering them a platform where they can learn to paint, access a no or low-cost workshop, enjoy low commissions offers for exhibiting and selling their artworks, book closed studio time for advanced art training or exhibitions. These services have a therapeutic effect on the affected population, which makes them wiling to change (The LivingRoom Art Studio, 2020). After working with the facility for several weeks, I noted that the affected population only used the facility to create artworks that they could sell to obtain their income. Some of them were interested in the facility because of the free breakfast offered to those who went to the facility.
Some of the strengths of the agency and the clients include a commitment to creating artwork and teaching the population how to generate an income through art. Other strengths include the low commission rates and willingness of the studio facilitators to offer members of the population private studio time that can be used for art exhibitions (The LivingRoom Art Studio, 2020). Aside from the positive impacts of these services of the population, there is a need to implement additional strategies that would promote access to rehabilitative services and healthcare services.
I intend to address the problem by introducing an effective health education program at the facility that will be carried out on the days that the facility is opened for art exhibitions and will offer private support to individuals dealing with health challenges like addition. The objective of the plan is to assist individuals struggling with drug or alcohol addiction by providing them with the education of the effects of drugs and alcohol on their health and offering them rehabilitative services that would ensure they get the help they need to manage their addiction by July 2021. This will ensure that they will not use the funds they make through the art projects to buy more drugs or alcohol but to establish themselves. To put this plan to action, I will need to obtain permission from the local government and the board of governance that manages the art studio.
Some of the resources that I will need include finances to purchase education equipment, healthcare personnel trained in community health, who will be able to address the health challenges like addiction and lack of access to healthcare services, which affects the population. Additional resources will include a time slot at the art studio for conducting the health education programs and resources for communicating to the population about the availability of these services. This plan responds to the community-health nurse standard of promoting health as it focuses on improving the physical, mental, and social well-being of the population. The plan addresses the need for identifying levels of interventions necessary for promoting the well-being of the population (Canadian Community Health Nursing, 2008). It also recognizes the broad impact of the specific issues on health promotion in the community.
The plan will be implemented on January 1, 2021. The selection of this date is based on the need to seek approval from the local government and the art studio leader, which might take a long time. The time taken before the implementation of the program will also be used to seek appropriate collaborators and community health nurses who can run the program. The time will also be used to seek financial support from philanthropists and organizations involved in fighting drug and alcohol addiction. Aside from that, the facility is currently on lockdown because of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, making it impossible to begin offering the community a program that would not adhere to the social distancing and national lockdown policies. To avoid spreading the Coronavirus through the activity, the plan will be scheduled to begin on January 1, 2021, with the hopes that the pandemic will end before that time.
Some of the evaluation measures that will be implemented include assessing the progress of the individuals, their understanding of the information taught to them through the health program, and their willingness to change. Some of the positive impacts of the expected outcomes include reduced cases of drug and alcohol addiction, increased commitment to artwork and personal development, financial stability among the affected population as they would have a reduced likelihood of using the funds obtained from selling their artwork to buy drugs or alcohol. Potential negative implications of the program include the reluctance of the population to participate in the health promotion program. If I did this process again, the only changes I would make would be to incorporate more health programs in the plan to cater to the needs of other vulnerable groups in the community.
I think one of the most important roles of community health nursing is health promotion. Community health nurses participate in this role by bringing healthcare services closer to the people thereby making it easy for them to address their health issues. Community health nurses work alongside social workers and other community-based staff in ensuring that people better access to healthcare services. They combine their primary care knowledge with nursing skills in facilitating planned changes. For instance, community health nursing promotes the utilization of communal drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in promoting positive health behaviors. Community nursing seeks to identify the root and historical cause of illness and health inequalities and creating approaches for resolving the problem. (Community Health Nurses Association of Canada, 2019). Community nurses collaborate with affected individuals to improve their overall health.
Community health nursing is essential in healthcare as it forms the link between the communities and healthcare facilities. Community health nurses work alongside other healthcare professionals and community programs in identifying vulnerable groups or those in need and directing them to the right healthcare facility. The Living Room Art Studio is an effective community program that offers individuals from marginalized area, those dealing with addiction, and those affected by poverty or homelessness an opportunity to generate an income that can assist them in improving their lives. The plan suggested would improve the effectiveness of the art studio by offering the population access to healthcare services.
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Community Health Nurses Association of Canada. (2019). Canadian Community Health Nursing Professional Practice Model & Standards of Practice. Community Health Nurses Association of Canada, 1-32. Retrieved from https://www.chnc.ca/en/standards-of-practice.
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