Global Self-Care Movements


One of the main events happening every year is Self Care Week, hosted in the UK.  The origin of this event was born of collaboration between medical communities over the last decade, with prevention education in mind.  But the movement actually spans all the way back to the 1970's.  

In a publication by Marc Lalonde, the then Minister of Health and Welfare Canada, the international program for Health Promotion (HP) was introduced.

"For the first time in this report, a major government had acknowledged the limitations of modern medicine and health care systems in improving the health status of the population. It emphasized the role of HP as a key strategy for improving health through a holistic approach consisting of not only a medical dimension but also psychological, social and economic dimensions." (1)

What began as a call to action, turned into a forum to address public health concerns.  Now it has also grown into an annual awareness event that various communities participate in.  

Medical health professionals, public health teams, schools, colleges and many others host walks and events to promote the importance of self-care for health.  This year's goal is to encourage a wider sphere of self-care behavior and promote local pharmacies as advocates for self-care advice. 

Rather than waiting in overfull ER's for hours, they are encouraging people to tend to self-care basics and seek support from local pharmacies first.  In the U.S., that would be equivalent to "prompt care" and "quick care" clinics.

Promoting Awareness Of Positive Change

In honor of this year’s event we are promoting awareness of global self-care efforts such as these, who are manifesting notable change in our time. 

Although "self-care" is a relatively young body of research, it is growing rapidly as healing professionals observe how much influence self-care has on the spectrum of prevention, management and/or recovery of chronic conditions.  

Providers and healers of all types can agree that self-care is a critical dimension in all wellness endeavors; and a lack of self-care can inhibit the most skilled efforts of any practitioner or caregiver.

Human Development Throughout The Lifespan

Self-Care Support is a resource inspired by the journey of human development throughout the lifespan.  Regardless of the struggle – whether it is being a caregiver, medical patient, witness or survivor of trauma, anxiety or depression or stress, and more – self-care can improve most outcomes.

It is also clear that global self-care research in general, is focused on something entirely different than the direction of American social media - which is largely focused on consumerism. 

We believe that most people are aware of these discrepancies, and as public awareness increases it is likely to correct itself.  However for the purposes of this year’s Self Care Week, we would like to devote this space toward promoting increased awareness.

The U.S. actually isn't far behind in global initiatives, as there are countless educational programs for self-care cropping up in public schools and colleges across the nation.  Upcoming generations are likely to have a rich and productive understanding of preventive self-care in wellness lifestyles.


We honor these programs with gratitude and respect...

The Self Care Forum - UK
Launched in 2010, The Self Care Campaign (Self Care Forum) is made up of key leaders in primary care including the NHS Alliance, Royal College of Nursing, National Association of Primary Care, National Association of Patient Participation and the Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB).  

Note from the Self Care Forum...
"Since the launch of the Self Care Campaign in March 2010 we have made great progress in embedding self-care messages in primary care. Now we are moving into a solution-building phase, focusing on the ‘how’ rather than the ‘why’. The Self Care Forum will help to facilitate this. We have been working hard to bring this forum together for some time and it is great that Paul Burstow has pledged his commitment to self-care. The Self Care Forum looks forward to working with its members, including the Department of Health, to establish self-care as a lifelong habit and culture."

International Self-Care Foundation (ISF)
ISF is a registered UK Charity with global focus.  Since 2013, ISF also has an autonomous sister foundation ISF Hong Kong with focus in the Greater China area.

ISF is the originator of International Self-Care Day July 24 - which is similar to Self Care Week, but endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a global initiative.

"The charity’s officially stated objects (purpose) are the relief of sickness by the promotion, preservation and protection of health. This will be based on the context of self-care, which can be defined as the maintenance of healthy lifestyles and encompasses the concepts of..."

The Seven Pillars Of Self-Care

  1. Knowledge & Health Literacy
  2. Mental Wellbeing, Self-Awareness & Agency
  3. Physical Activity
  4. Healthy Eating
  5. Risk Avoidance Mitigation
  6. Good Hygeine
  7. Rational & Responsible Uses Of Self-Care Products & Services

The ISF tenets have been credited in global research collaborations including: urban planning, maternal and children's health, family caregivers, blood pressure management, evidence based self-care, and other academic research.

Self-Care Trailblazers Group (SCTG)
This group is a collaboration between the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Population Services International.  They have also added a forum for partners to amplify their work and share knowledge and expertise. 

The Trailblazer Group aims to bring together various stakeholders, representatives of international organizations, the donor community, governments, civil society, implementers and the private sector in order to:

  1. Lead a unified communications and advocacy effort in support of the WHO guidelines for self-care.
  2. Advance learnings and contribute to building the evidence base around self-care and serve as a catalyst for plugging identified research gaps.
  3. Build a practice for developing, sharing, and applying concrete solutions for self-care.

International Center For Self Care Research (ICSCR)
Located in Rome, headed by a team of M.D.'s and Ph.D's, and funded by a Catholic Church in Australia. 

The aims of this research is to examine multicultural self-care behaviors in chronic illness and "to compare and contrast different approaches to improving self-care maintenance, monitoring, and management."  The research explores barriers to self-care, and the importance of self-care from prevention to chronic condition.

Skills For Care
This site is an interactive self-care resource site for social care staff to better promote independence in their clients. 

Word Health Organization (WHO)
Advocates self-care as “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health-care provider.”  

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Self Management Education

And last but definitely not least...

"Self-Care Awareness Month" was officially declared by the registrar at National Day Calendar, as an event to be observed every September beginning in 2017.

Self-Care Support is a global resource originating from the heart of the U.S.  We call it "Self-Care Awareness Season" from July 24 through the end of the year... as things gradually wind down before the start of another year's bustle.

To learn more about our resource library, visit our homepage:


Additional References

  1.  Bhuyan K. K. (2004). Health promotion through self-care and community participation: elements of a proposed programme in the developing countries. BMC public health4(11). doi:10.1186/1471-2458-4-11
  2.  Lalonde M. (1974). A new perspective on the health of Canadians. Ottawa: Health and Welfare Canada. 1974.

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