Public health is an asset to a healthy and sustainable society that must be preserved. The task is challenging due to rural and low-income communities facing healthcare disparities. These include a lack of primary care services, education, and resources.
As a result, members of a community are exposed to various illnesses, thus preventing society as a whole from progressing. At the same time, socioeconomic factors are critical to a community’s progress.
With time, the model of care in public health has exceeded beyond only treating illnesses. Other than maintaining wellness, community healthcare service providers and organizations strive to ascertain that access to care is not geographically and economically restricted.
The recent global health crisis has highlighted the importance of public health. Health issues within the community also arise when the overall well-being of every member is neglected.
Ensuring public health among the community members requires addressing and preventing the root cause of the issues. One of the solutions to pressing problems like chronic illnesses and health disparities, especially in underdeveloped areas, is establishing community engagement programs.
These programs proactively address the socioeconomic factors imperative to health issues. When ensuring health at a community level, the first step is to understand every member’s needs.
Interacting with various stakeholders is one of the most effective community engagement strategies that offer insight into society’s needs and health-related issues. The benefit of implementing these strategies is that it improves health outcomes and prevents health care costs.
For instance, initiatives providing shelter to homeless individuals save cost and frequency of care. Apart from that, some other strategies also instill the importance of health in public.
- Exercise opportunities
Considered the holy grail of health, many lack access to opportunities that allows them to be active and improve fitness. Parks, fitness centers, and various organizations can work on launching events or exercise programs.
A cycling tour is one of the best ways to relax the mind and body. This activity engages people of all ages and motivates participation while promoting health in the community.
The studies published in the international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity reported a 30-40% decrease in mortality rate. In addition, a low-impact exercise, like riding a bike, strengthens muscles without overstressing them.
Cycling has considerable benefits on a community level by cutting down air pollutants; it reduces the incidence of health issues.
We, humans, are hard-wired to crave a sense of belonging in the community. Cultivating a sense of support within the community contributes to well-being. That said, various organizations also work towards introducing yoga classes in the community.
Performing yoga collectively goes way beyond just sharing a mat. It creates a bond between like-minded individuals, dissolving the circle of isolation. Being surrounded by like-minded and uplifting people strengthens the bond and encourages growth as one.
- Build Community Gardens
One of the primary reasons why health issues arise is the unavailability of resources or lack of access. Building community gardens is an effective strategy to curb the prevalence of such problems. Community gardens promote a healthy lifestyle for every community member, whether they belong from suburban or rural areas.
It instills healthy eating, exercise, and a knack for connecting with the surrounding. Participation in the community garden allows interaction with people one-on-one, improving social health.
Community gardens are the foundation for understanding various cultural, social, and religious backgrounds. Such activities are valuable, especially for children who are unaware of the mechanics of the food supply chain.
Gardening improves well-being by inviting individuals to slow down, connect with nature, and foster relationships with new people. It relieves stress, thus positively impacting overall wellness.
Establishing community gardens provides access to healthy food significantly to those who cannot afford it. Aside from ensuring well-being, it also decreases food scarcity, with excessive freshly harvested produce donated to the local food banks.
Community gardens aim to provide a healthy and nutritious diet to those who lack the resources to promote wellness.
- Community Service
Making a difference in society and helping the less privileged takes more than discussing the issues. Volunteering teaches that actions speak louder than words. It offers an insight into the problems that contribute to poor health
Volunteering holds communities together, drives volunteers to make it a better place, and allows them to establish lifelong connections.
Today, technology might be considered the primary tool for a society’s growth. However, every individual’s contribution, regardless of background, is crucial to a society’s progress. That is only possible when every aspect of physical and social health is regulated.
Community service is the means of giving back to society by helping the underprivileged lead a healthy life. Doing so instills a sense of accomplishment and promotes well-being in both the volunteers and the recipients.
As mentioned earlier, volunteering is the means of giving back to the place you call home. Doing so not only unites the communities or helps sustain the health of the less fortunate but also bridges socioeconomic gaps.
With so many causes, from advocating animal rights to feeding the homeless, various organizations provide people with several options to support the community’s betterment.
- Wellness Challenges
Wellness challenges are designed to inspire healthy lifestyle choices among individuals. Besides helping lead a healthy life, these challenges also aim to educate the participants about choosing a more nutritional pathway.
Health challenges are an effective tool to spur engagement and instill a sense of connection among community members. Walking a few steps or eating healthy are a few wellness challenges.
Healthy eating without any argument is crucial to maintaining good health, which nutrition challenges ensure. A few examples of nutrition challenges could include encouraging people to drink more water and packing a healthy lunch.
Similarly, planning a marathon is an effective strategy to highlight the importance of physical activity and its role in decreasing health issues.
Individually making lifestyle changes is difficult, whereas the incentive to commit to a new routine becomes strong when others are also involved. These challenges center around various aspects of well-being, from physical to mental health.
The outcomes are only fruitful when the local organizations actively raise awareness among the people. Besides that, other mediums like radio, TV commercials, and social media promotion are also means of educating people about the importance of health and the ways to maintain it.
Today, the stressful and competitive environment has emphasized the importance of care for the mind and body. Communities and individuals are encouraged to adopt behaviors fundamental to a healthy life. When talking about public health, it is more than just eating healthy or exercising regularly.
Access to nutritious food, social network, and safe outdoor activities are a few critical factors essential to a healthy community.
One of the ways to ensure that a community’s health prosper is by actively engaging with the members to understand their needs, address socioeconomic issues and find effective solutions.