Capacity building strategies

If a student wishes to go beyond stress relief and stress management to improve their capacity to engage with life challenges, they can add practices that help them learn from their experiences. Learning can either be horizontal or vertical. Horizontal learning means growing more confident and competent at the same level (e.g. horizontal learning of first year statistics is getting confident and competent in that level of statistics problems). Vertical or transformational learning means making the developmental leap to a higher level of complex problems. Such improved capacity is a life asset since it advantages the person throughout their life journey.

Heath promotion strategies aimed at capacity building may involve helping a student learn a key skill (such as how to have a meaningful communication), or helping a student learn their own processes and meaning-making, how to experiment with new ways of interpreting events and or ways of responding. For example, different people respond better to emotional approaches, others to physical, some to somatic approaches, still others to social.

Health promotion strategies that are focused on capacity building combine theory and practice from multiple fields: medical, psychological, human ecology/social work and learning fields of knowledge.

Capacity building may also include strategies to influence one’s environments, including by collaborating with others. Health promotion is thus about one’s inner life, outer life and on relationships with others and the physical environment.