Health & Wellness Overview

Mental Health

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act as we cope with life. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Mental illnesses are serious disorders which can affect your thinking, mood, and behavior. There are many causes of mental disorders. Your genes and family history may play a role. Your life experiences, such as stress or a history of abuse, may also matter. Biological factors can also be part of the cause. Mental disorders are common, but treatments are available.

Source: NIH: MedLine Plus
Social Marketing

One well-known definition of social marketing is "the application of commercial marketing technologies to the analysis, planning, execution, and evaluation of programs designed to influence voluntary behavior of target audiences in order to improve their personal welfare and that of society."

Note the following key points in this definition. Social marketing

  • Uses commercial marketing strategies.
  • Involves influencing voluntary (not forced or coerced) behavior change(not just increased awareness or increased knowledge).
  • Promotes an end goal of improved personal welfare and improved welfare of society.

 

Source: Alan Andreasen
Health Promotion

Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. It moves beyond a focus on individual behaviour towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions.

Source: World Health Organization
Public Health

Public health refers to all organized measures (whether public or private) to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the population as a whole. Its activities aim to provide conditions in which people can be healthy and focus on entire populations, not on individual patients or diseases. Thus, public health is concerned with the total system and not only the eradication of a particular disease.
 

The three main public health functions are:

  • The assessment and monitoring of the health of communities and populations at risk to identify health problems and priorities.
  • The formulation of public policies designed to solve identified local and national health problems and priorities.
  • To assure that all populations have access to appropriate and cost-effective care, including health promotion and disease prevention services.

Public health professionals monitor and diagnose the health concerns of entire communities and promote healthy practices and behaviours to ensure that populations stay healthy. One way to illustrate the breadth of public health is to look at some notable public health campaigns:

  • Vaccination and control of infectious diseases
  • Motor-vehicle safety
  • Safer workplaces
  • Safer and healthier foods
  • Safe drinking water
  • Healthier mothers and babies and access to family planning
  • Decline in deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke
  • Recognition of tobacco use as a health hazard.

The term global public health recognizes that, as a result of globalization, forces that affect public health can and do come from outside state boundaries and that responding to public health issues now requires attention to cross-border health risks, including access to dangerous products and environmental change.

Source: World Health Organization
Nutrition

Food provides the energy and nutrients you need to be healthy. Nutrients include proteinscarbohydratesfatsvitaminsminerals, and water.

Healthy eating is not hard. The key is to

  • Eat a variety of foods, including vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products
  • Eat lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, and low-fat dairy products
  • Drink lots of water
  • Limit salt, sugar, alcohol, saturated fat, and trans fat in your diet

Saturated fats are usually fats that come from animals. Look for trans fat on the labels of processed foods, margarines, and shortenings.

Food Safety

Safe steps in food handling, cooking, and storage can prevent foodborne illness. There are four basic steps to food safety at home:

  • Clean - always wash your food, hands, counters, and cooking utensils.
  • Separate - keep raw foods to themselves. Germs can spread from one food to another.
  • Cook - foods need to get hot and stay hot. Heat kills germs.
  • Chill - put fresh food in the refrigerator right away.

In the grocery store, avoid cans that are bulging or jars that have cracks or loose lids. Check packages to be sure food hasn't reached its expiration date.

 

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Safety

You can't remove all the safety hazards from your life, but you can reduce them. You can avoid major hazards and prepare for emergencies by taking the following steps:

  • Keep emergency phone numbers by your telephones.
  • Make a first aid kit for your home.
  • Make a family emergency plan.
  • Install and maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Keep guns unloaded and locked up. Lock up the ammunition separately.
  • Follow the directions carefully when using tools or equipment.

Young children are especially at risk. Supervision is the best way to keep them safe. Childproofing the house can also help.

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Exercise and Physical Fitness

There are 1,440 minutes in every day. Schedule 30 of them for physical activity!

Regular exercise is a critical part of staying healthy. People who are active live longer and feel better. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight. It can delay or prevent diabetes, some cancers and heart problems.

Most adults need at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five days per week. Examples include walking briskly, mowing the lawn, dancing, swimming for recreation or bicycling. Stretching and weight training can also strengthen your body and improve your fitness level.

The key is to find the right exercise for you. If it is fun, you are more likely to stay motivated. You may want to walk with a friend, join a class or plan a group bike ride. If you've been inactive for awhile, use a sensible approach and start out slowly.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Sexual Health

Sexuality is a big part of being human. Love, affection and sexual intimacy all play a role in healthy relationships. They also contribute to your sense of well-being. A number of disorders can affect the ability to have or enjoy sex in both men and women. Concerns about infertility or fear of unplanned pregnancy can also come into play.

In addition, a number of diseases and disorders affect sexual health. These include sexually transmitted diseases and cancer. In men, treatment of prostate cancer can cause erectile dysfunction. In women, cervical, uterine, vaginal, vulvar or ovarian cancer may have sexual effects.

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
School Health

Your child spends more time at school than anywhere else except home. Schools can have a major effect on children's health, by teaching about health and promoting healthy behaviors. The school building and environment should be a safe and healthy place for your child.

Schools work to prevent risky behaviors such as alcohol and tobacco use, inactivity or bullying. They may also deal with specific health problems in students, such as asthma, obesity and infectious diseases.

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Health Education

Health education is any combination of learning experiences designed to help individuals and communities improve their health, by increasing their knowledge or influencing their attitudes.

Source: World Health Organization
The Representation Project - Blog
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Reducing Sodium in Children's Diets
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America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2013
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More People Walk to Better Health
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Reducing Sodium in Children's Diets
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Healthy food trends -- flaxseeds
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20 healthy snacks with 100 calories or less
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National Above the Influence Day
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For the second year in a row, as part of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, ONDCP is encouraging partners across the country to join us in celebrating the second annual National Above the Influence (ATI) Day. This year, the flagship ATI event will take place in Washington DC on October 17th. On that day and in the weeks leading up to the 17th, community partners from all around the country will participate in a variety of youth-focused activities that place teens at the heart of this national celebration. In addition to the activities happening around the country on the 17th, four featured partners and their youth in Texas, California, New York, and Florida will be visited by ONDCP officials - each of these areas will showcase their teens in a variety of customized, teen-centric activities and performances in concert with the main event in Washington, DC. Please encourage your community’s youth organizations to get involved in National Above the Influence Day 2013. Visit www.ATIpartnerships.com for more information on how to join the National ATI Day activities webinars, and how to vote for the winning “Made by Me National Challenge” video submission. 

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The Center for African-American Health
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The Center for African-American Health is a community-based organization providing disease prevention and disease management programs to African Americans living in the metro Denver area offering programs on diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer, as well as a wellness program for seniors, and health literacy training.

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The Center for Early Education and Development
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The Center for Early Education and Development strives to effect positive change in early education, childcare, and public policy. CEED has spent over 30 years helping children from infancy through age eight to learn and develop to the best of their abilities.

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Partnership for Families & Children
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"Nonprofit provider of capacity-enhancing services, research and evaluation in the area of child and family health and well-being, serving as a trusted partner for social change"

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Cervical Cancer is Preventable
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Healthy Choices: What to eat during pregnancy
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Great American Smokeout — November 20, 2014
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Acupuncture, Exercise May Ease Pain for Breast Cancer Patients
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Learn to love exercise
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Make time to move
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Today's Gift - Uplifting Daily Emails
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Timing and Stages of Puberty
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