Community Health in Santa Clara County

Community health refers to an area of medical specialty whose focus revolves around the physical and mental wellbeing of a group of people in a particular neighborhood (Rasmussen College, 2020). According to the CDC, tackling health problems at the community level aids healthy living fends of chronic diseases and contributes to the greatest health gains to a wide group of people (CDC, 2020). Strong community health, therefore, encourages selflessness by urging residents to look beyond personal benefits and embrace collectiveness in dealing with diseases and disease-causing habits. In Santa Clara County, mental health is a fast-rising health problem facing residents, with many patients afraid of sharing their particular struggles while some not even aware of being sick or it is a disease.

Milio’s framework for prevention outlines propositions that force the focus of attention from an individual level to a broader level to examine the community or society’s role. In understanding the prevalence of mental illness, we need to draw insight from the Santa Clara demography and economy (County health rankings and roadmaps, 2020). The existence of a huge wage gap and exorbitant housing prices is one contributing factor to the neglect of mental illness. Those in the lower bands of the pay distribution can barely afford proper health care and, as such, are most probably going to brush off mental sickness, especially depression, as frustration resulting from not having as much money as they want to. Similarly, the community at large portrays the mentally ill as lazy people who are looking for excuses to avoid hard work. Lack of proper sensitization from the government has contributed further to the demonization of the mentally ill, especially those from poor neighborhoods.

Healthy people 2020 goals of mental health works to achieve the improvement of mental health via precaution and ensuring access to appropriate and better condition mental health facilities. They acknowledge mental illness as one of the major contributing factors to disability in America. They state that in any particular year, approximately 18.1% of U.S adults over the age of 18 are suffering or have suffered from any mental disease, and 4.2% of the cases being seriously debilitating (Healthy People. (2020). Their objectives include reduction of suicide rate, reduction of suicide attempts by adolescents, and increase the number of hospitals that provide mental health treatment onsite or by paid referral.

The long-term goal is to educate young people as early as possible and encourage them to seek help when they feel unwell. Furthermore, offering free therapy sessions to those who cannot afford one will go a long way in ensuring that the less fortunate move with speed in this fight as well (Nies, & McEwen, 2019).  The short-term goals begin with the reduction of depression cases among expectant women who are mostly at risk and, by extension, putting the unborn child at risk too. Secondly, the promotion of anti-bullying campaigns in schools will reduce school-based violence, which is the leading cause of self-esteem issues among the victims and aggression among the bullies. Finally, better family functioning and productive parenting will result in improved mental wellbeing and reduced risk resulting from poverty (Doyle, Ward & Early, 2018).

In conclusion, it is our responsibility as a community to encourage people to seek help when going through mental struggles. Furthermore, we need to explain that suicide is never the answer that it is okay not to be okay.

References

CDC. (2020). CDC Works 24/7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 29 February 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/.

County health rankings and roadmaps. (2020). County Health Rankings & Roadmaps | County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. Countyhealthrankings.org. Retrieved 29 February 2020, from https://www.countyhealthrankings.org/app/california/2019/rankings/santa-clara/county/outcomes/overall/snapshot.

Doyle, E. I., Ward, S. E., & Early, J. (2018). The process of community health education and promotion. Waveland Press.

Healthy People. (2020). Mental Health and Mental Disorders | Healthy People 2020. Healthypeople.gov. Retrieved 29 February 2020, from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/mental-health-and-mental-disorders.

Nies, M., & McEwen, M. (2019). Community/public health nursing. Elsevier.

Rasmussen College. (2020). What Is Community Health and Why Is It Important?. Rasmussen.edu. Retrieved 29 February 2020, from https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/health-sciences/blog/what-is-community-health.

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