World Health Day – Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone

World Health Day was launched over 50 years ago as an opportunity for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to raise awareness of an area of concern in healthcare each year. This year, the WHO is calling for action to eliminate health inequalities as part of a global campaign for health equity.

The campaign comes at a time where we have seen inequalities around the world being brought to light. Taking a look at the health and wellness sector in the UK, an example of this is the vulnerability of racial groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, an issue thought to be as a result of a variety of factors including income inequality, occupational factors and racial biases.

Within the sport sector, Sport England published their most recent Active Lives survey in October 2020 which found that the gap in people accessing sport has widened in the past year. This is backed up by Public Health England who recently published a guide entitled ‘Understanding and addressing inequalities in physical activity’, to help break down the barriers that prevent people from taking part in exercise. 

And in the beauty industry, key voices such as Vogue Beauty Editor, Fumni Fetto, have been calling for an increase in products that cater to all skin and hair types.

The British Beauty Council’s Diversity and Inclusivity Survey, launched in 2020, concluded, ‘The lack of diversity and representation within the beauty industry is an issue that needs addressing now more than ever. This ever-important subject has been further amplified in response to the racial and societal injustices that have been magnified by gross disparities in outcomes especially for members of the Black community.

‘Within our industry, we’ve seen for some time a fast-growing demand from consumers to ensure beauty brands and businesses better represent under-served communities including all ethnicities, abilities, ages, genders, sexual orientations and identities across all areas of the industry; from media, education, content and products, and services.’

In International Therapist Autumn 2020 (issue 134), our lead feature ‘Accessible to All‘ focused on ways to make therapies more accessible to everybody, no matter their race, income, ability or gender identity. In our feature, we spoke to four FHT members who are leading the way in offering an inclusive therapy space for clients.

Have you made changes within your own therapy practice, to make your services more inclusive and improve health equity? We would love to hear more, simply email FHT Deputy Editor, Leanne Sheill, at lsheill@fht.org.uk.

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