Everyone deserves to live a long and healthy life in a safe environment. To make this happen, we must work together to tackle the causes of poor health and disease risk among individuals and within our communities. Making healthy changes to our environment and ourselves is a great first step.
This week, April 2 – 8, is National Public Health Week and the American Public Health Association has set themes for Monday – Friday that helps each of us start making these healthy changes that our society needs as a whole.
April 2: Behavioral Health
Advocate for and promote well-being
Focus on and advocate for improved access to mental and behavioral health services. Use education and training to de-stigmatize mental health diagnoses and encourage people experiencing mental illness to seek treatment. Coverage for mental health services must be on par with physical health services in all health insurance coverage.
April 3: Communicable Diseases
Learn about ways to prevent disease transmission
Wash your hands. Know your HIV status. Call on employers to support and provide sick leave so sick workers can care for themselves and avoid spreading disease to others. Support comprehensive sexual health education in schools, which can reduce rates of sexually transmitted disease (as well as teen pregnancy). Keep yourself and your families immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases — and get your flu shot!
April 4: Environmental Health
Help to protect and maintain a healthy planet
Reduce our collective carbon emissions footprint. Transition to renewable energies. Protect our natural resources and use evidence-based policy to protect our air, water and food. Support environmental health efforts that monitor our communities for risks and develop health-promoting interventions. Call for transportation planning that promotes walking, biking and public transit — it not only reduces climate-related emissions, but helps us all stay physically active.
April 5: Injury and Violence Prevention
Learn about the effects of injury and violence on health
Increase funding to programs that reduce and prevent community violence. Advocate for occupational health and safety standards that keep workers safe on the job. Support policies that save those struggling with addiction from a fatal drug overdose. Many injuries are preventable with the appropriate education, policy and safety measures.
April 6: Ensuring the Right to Health
Advocate for everyone’s right to a healthy life
Everyone deserves an opportunity to live a life free from preventable disease and disability. The places where we live, learn, work, worship and play should promote our health, not threaten it. That’s why creating the healthiest nation requires a dogged focus on achieving health equity for all.
Join the movement to make our nation the healthiest nation!