In the context of health promotion, actions taken by lay persons (i.e. non-health professionals) to mobilize the necessary resources to promote, maintain or restore the health of individuals or communities.

Reference: modified definition

Although self-help is usually understood to mean action taken by individuals or communities which will directly benefit those taking the action, it may also encompass mutual aid between individuals and groups. Self-help may also include self-care – such as self-medication and first aid in the normal social context of people’s everyday lives.

Source: Health Promotion Glossary (1998), WHO/HPR/HEP/98.1