Leading Health Indicators
Leading Health Indicators (LHIs) are aimed at improving health and the wellbeing of the population, reduction of health inequities, and the development of health systems. This program considers the guidance and policy indicators, in particular, the 26 key indicators approved for measuring the progress in the health sector. Regarding my community, three indicators can be viewed as the most problematic ones. They are connected to mental health (MHMD-4.1 Adolescents with major depressive episodes) and nutrition, physical activity and obesity (NWS-10.4 Obesity among children and adolescents and NWS-15.1 Mean daily intake of total vegetables). It is crucial to plan the possible interventions to be able to address them accordingly.
The main intervention to combat depressive moods in adolescents should be linked to carrying out various measures to improve the psychological health of young people in cooperation with schools (Healthy people 2020 leading health indicators, 2014). It can be carried out together with Mrs. Smith, who is the school nurse in my community. It is possible to plan joint activities for educational institutions, which will be directed at strengthening and preserving mental health of children and adolescents, and to provide timely and qualified psychological and educational assistance to children in crisis (Lundy & Janes, 2014). The main forms of preventive work will be training, lessons, elective psychology courses, individual counseling, and testing conducted by Nurse Smith.
Regarding the other two health indicators (obesity of children and adults, and the consumption of sufficient amounts of vegetables), it is worth noting there is a need to act comprehensively (Healthy people 2020 leading health indicators, 2014). The interventions should help to improve the nutrition patterns and physical activity of children and adults. There is a possibility to conduct two workshops together with Mrs. Collins (community nurse) and Mr. Grant (nutritionist) for everyone and, especially, families. The workshops should cover technological, social (the desired norm in relation to body weight and appearance, guidelines for feeding children, social issues on physical exercise) and familial (prevailing eating habits) aspects of nutrition. It is important that education on nutrition and providing useful information to all members of society should take place in an intelligible but simple form (Lundy & Janes, 2014). In addition, the information should be directed to the promotion of an active lifestyle and propagate physical activity among children and adolescents. The events under the supervision of Mrs. Collins and Mr. Grant will provide recommendations for the proper organization of physical activity, sleep modes, and the importance of drinking pure water and eating sufficient amounts of vegetables as well as their impact on the body.
The results of these interventions will be conducting preventive and educational activities for students (seminars, debates on themes of the value of life, a positive attitude towards themselves and others, parent-child relationships, interaction with peers). The desired results of the complex influence will be the appearance of the important social skills (constructive communication, self-confidence, a positive attitude to life) and psychological safety in the educational environment (Lundy & Janes, 2014). Another outcome will be the creation of conditions to ensure the preservation and strengthening of the mental health of students; and intensification of cooperation and joint activities of parents, teachers, and students with other agencies and community prevention services (Lundy & Janes, 2014). The results of the measures to improve the situation with obesity and unbalanced nutrition will be the raised awareness of the population about the benefits of proper nutrition and increased physical activity for children and adults, which will gradually lead to a decrease in population obesity levels.
In conclusion, the Leading Health Indicators program carries a very important role in boosting the life of the society, raising the awareness, health literacy and overall wellbeing of people. However, the success of its implementation depends on the nurses and other people who have the knowledge and desire to implement those guidelines in real life. Cooperation and responsivity of nurses, educational organizations, communities, and families will ensure that the main goals of LHIs will be achieved.
Lundy, K., & Janes, S. (2014). Community health nursing. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.