Every individual deserves the opportunity to be healthy.
What is considered a healthy community? According to the World Health Organization, health is defined as not simply the absence of disease but the state of physical, mental, and social well-being. Therefore, maintaining a complete state of health can only be achieved when our mental health needs are met.
Our understanding of how stress influences health has evolved over time. Stress contributes to a variety of mental and physical health problems such as headaches, anxiety, depression, obesity, and heart disease. Stress can worsen health conditions both because of the strain it puts on the body and because people may respond to stress with negative health behaviors, such as unhealthy eating or drug and alcohol use. Because mental health affects an individual's physical, emotional and social well-being, it makes dealing with mental health vital to achieving overall public health goals. Public health professionals play a key role in studying and impacting the factors that adversely influence mental health.
Mental health promotion and illness prevention, like all prevention activities, can be divided into 3 levels. All levels of prevention aims to improve the lives of individuals by enabling them to enhance their health. Within each of these levels, mindfulness can be a key component in health promotion/disease management:
Primary prevention: targets individuals before risk of disease or health behavior.
Recent research studies have successfully linked mindfulness practices with positive changes in modifiable lifestyle behaviors such as smoking, drug addiction, dietary behaviors, sleep quality and overall mental well being.
Secondary prevention: targets early detection and treatment of disease in order to avoid symptom onset.
Mindfulness interventions have the potential to have great impact particularly in diseases with strong lifestyle or mental health components such as high blood pressure.
Tertiary prevention: targets individuals with disease to prevent furthering the physical, mental, and social consequences of established disease.
Mindfulness has gained popularity as a component in chronic care with significant effects for chronic pain, fatigue, stress reduction, various forms of cancer, heart disease, psoriasis, insomnia, depression, and anxiety. It can also be applicable in rehabilitation.
Mindfulness involves the practice of awareness and paying attention to the now. When examining mindfulness research, a common question is: can the “simple” act of being aware of one’s behavior translate to changing behavior? The answer appears to be YES. The skills learned through mindfulness programs have shown to help override and possibly replace maladaptive responses to stressors. Mindfulness also appears to help with setting public health goals such as eating healthier, exercising more often, or making appointments for preventative testing.
Our ultimate goal is to live in a (compassionate and emotionally) healthy community. To help achieve this goal, PSF will continue to contribute to the research and implementation of mindfulness programs to encourage child, family and community physical, mental and emotional wellness.
Join us at this Family focused event at which we will focus on self-care practices. Where: Office of Family & Community Engagement– Administration Building 31 South Penn St, Allentown When: Tuesday, March 22, 2022 Time: 5:00-6:00 PM RSVP: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScs3U_1em4iF1B3WQlOFIXmeOWwLgyWC5Zx7U8EZMDnpICqVQ/viewform?usp=pp_url Interpretation services will be available & light refreshments will be served.
Title 1 Parent and Family Involvement Surveys distributed. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org