Health Promotion

Health Promotion

The purpose of health promotion studies is to provide general knowledge about health development, health promotion and its basics: the latter comprises the evaluation, planning and managing of health situation in community, designing health policy, and to teach skills for working in public, private and non-governmental systems in the field of public health. The curriculum also creates the basis for further studies in Master-level studies in various universities. 
Health promotion specialist is a professional with qualified higher education whose activity focuses on the developing of health and living-standard of individuals, groups, organizations and population. The purpose of health promotion specialist’s activity is to work for developing a health-supporting environment and equal opportunities for different social groups in order to enhance their health potential.

Health promotion specialist’s primary orientations are:

  • developing and activating people in community in order to manage with solving local problems and enhancing life quality;
  • influencing different political decisions for achieving health supporting environment;
  • developing partnership with different sectors and institutions;
  • developing the population’s health consciousness and skills;
  • launching support groups for developing health supporting environment;
  • to make the health services available for everybody;
  • analyzing population’s health situation.

Nominal length of study: 3 years
Language of studies: Estonian language (in Tallinn)  

The health promotion specialist study programme of Tallinn Health Care College corresponds to higher education standard, comprising integrated theory and practice studies.

The story up to now

In developed European countries, the beginning of health promotion speciality is considered in the 1970’s. The field of health promotion and the training of specialists developed in Western-Europe, North-America and Australia after the adoption of Ottawa Charter (1986) by World Health Organization. For the first time, the afore mentioned charter defined the commitments and activities of professionals in the field of health promotion. Starting from the 80’s, health promotion study programmes have been created in many countries, for the time being also in Africa, Asia and Eastern-European countries.
A new scientific branch is evolving that comprises health promotion – salutology i.e. health development studies. This comprises the processes and mechanisms that create, develop and support human health.

What are the activities of health promotion specialist?

One of the tasks of health promotion specialist is to change the false belief of society that health is only in the hands of a person. The purpose of the specialist is to change the health factors in society in a direction that the society would offer possibilities for healthy selections. The key of activities is reducing poverty and the creating of a broad-based civil society. Human health is in better condition if people have more possibilities to have a say in social issues, to participate in solving society’s problematic social-political and social-economical issues, and in changing living and working conditions. Health promotion specialist must have a global world view.

Who is a good health promotion specialist?

A health promotion specialist is active, bold and with good communicational skills. She/he can think creatively and with empathy, is tolerant and committed. The work of health promotion specialist is connected with planning, thus initiative and decision making skills are also very important. Cooperation and motivating skills are necessary in developing community health and creating networks.

The specialist is living a life-style that values health. The graduated health promotion specialists are good leaders and organizers, specialists of community and health.

The possibilities of continuing studies and work opportunities

It is possible to acquire Master-degree in the Master-studies of public health care in the Health Care Institute of Tartu University; also in open Master-studies of social sciences of Tallinn University, and in other open programmes of Master-studies (incl international Master-programmes).

There are opportunities for working in health promotion area as a health promotion specialist in county and local governments, as a specialist or project manager in National Institute for Health Development; as a specialist in the Ministry of Social Affaires, or as a project manager in non-profitable organizations and private firms.

Through the eyes of a student

“I personally see that health promotion has its future and possibilities. If there is a chance for somebody to study such an interesting speciality, why think further?
I think it is a superb opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills from a variety of subjects, like health factors, psychology, sociology, anatomy and physiology, religion, first aid, disease prevention and a lot of others.

As a first year student of health promotion, I have gained more enthusiasm to continue my studies in this area. I will continue with this tempo and will try to give the best of myself to become a skilful and useful health promotion specialist whose work would make a difference in enhancing public health.

The health indicators of Estonians are worse than I could imagine. I think that this is a good reason why active young people could potentially acquire knowledge about health promotion and in future to work in the name of Estonian population’s health so that our small lovely nation could survive.
Health promotion can be studied by everybody who has at least some sense of mission, interest and will, in order to raise the population’s quality of life to maximum.”
Sandra – I year student of health promotion