While all key indicators of health may be correlated with some issues in a community, three of them can be outlined as the most pressing problems:
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- The first concern is linked to mental health, in which Healthy People 2020 (2017) includes adolescents with major depressive disorders and high suicide rates. These factors are not improving throughout the country.
- The second health indicator issue is obesity and the lack of proper nutrition and physical activity. This problem is present in both adolescents and adults.
- Finally, the third issue is substance abuse among adults and adolescents. While the rate of adolescent alcohol abuse is lowering, the percentage of binge drinking adults is not improving.
- The first issue that deals with mental health and related problems are prevalent in males (Healthy People 2020, 2017). It is possible that this problem persists because of low awareness levels about depressive disorders among men. According to Eldredge, Markham, Ruiter, Kok, and Parcel (2016), the prevention of mental health problems through education is very effective. Therefore, the first type of prevention would be to improve people’s knowledge about mental health and distribute educational materials that would explain the treatment of mental health to remove the stigma for the male population.
- The problem of excess weight can be connected to many factors in one’s life. Improper nutrition and lack of exercise should be addressed within a community to mitigate this issue. For instance, school-based interventions that would encourage physical activity and higher fruit and vegetable intake can significantly improve the rate of childhood obesity and affect the population as a whole.
- Substance abuse is often correlated with other health-related problems, including one’s mental health and interpersonal relationships (Healthy People 2020, 2017). Therefore, the creation of an intervention should address the reasons behind this issue and focus on its social side. The family factor plays a prominent role in one’s rehabilitation. One’s intervention strategy may include the education of persons, whose relatives or close friends are suffering from substance-related problems.
- Mental health is a pressing matter that should be addressed at a high level of authority. Community leaders such as community nurses should work closely with mental health organizations in order to create a program that would distribute information about mental health-related issues and suicide prevention.
- Obesity and improper nutrition prevention programs for schools can be advocated by government officials such as state representatives and local officials in order to encourage educational organizations to create and implement new solutions. The severity of this issue among adolescents requires help from schools of the community to agree on a logical approach.
- The education of families and friends of people that suffer from alcohol and drug abuse can be supported by mental health professionals that represent the community. This type of intervention requires help from medical specialists, who can contribute their experience and knowledge to the learning process.
- The outcome of the first intervention should include a higher level of awareness about mental health-related issues among men. It is possible that such a contribution will increase the rate of male individuals that seek medical help to deal with their mental health problems without the fear of being misunderstood or judged.
- The prevalence of obesity among adolescents should decrease as a result of the second intervention. Schools with healthier lunch options developed physical education lesson plans, and extracurricular activities may encourage children to lead a healthier lifestyle.
- The third intervention may help the families of the affected individuals to improve and discuss the problem of substance abuse without invoking hateful or neglectful responses. Educated persons may be able to support their relatives and friends on their path to recovery. Moreover, people with some knowledge about substance abuse may analyze their relationships and see whether something can be changed to influence the situation.
Eldredge, L. K. B., Markham, C. M., Ruiter, R. A., Kok, G., & Parcel, G. S. (2016). Planning health promotion programs: An intervention mapping approach (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.
Healthy People 2020. (2017). Healthy people 2020 leading health indicators: Progress update. Web.