Community wellness refers to the overall health and well-being of a group of people living within a particular geographic location. It involves addressing various factors, such as physical health and mental health, which contribute to overall health outcomes. By prioritizing health and wellness through combining individual efforts, people can create healthier and more sustainable communities. However, while it is a popular belief that implementing community efforts is the job of the local government, these efforts will not bear fruit without the cooperation of community members.
Mutual awareness and community engagement can lead to improved health and quality of life for community members. To quote Jim Henson, "My hope is to leave the world a little better for having been there." Radical change requires a radical approach, and people require support and togetherness from their immediate community.
As such, below are some common diseases and conditions that many communities struggle with and ways individuals can help their fellow community members prioritize their health and wellness.
Obesity has emerged as a pressing public health challenge across the globe, affecting individuals of all age groups and socioeconomic backgrounds. This is because those who are obese are at a significantly higher risk of developing chronic diseases like certain cancers and heart issues. Obese individuals also typically experience lower quality of life, reduced mobility, and increased psychological distress.
Because obesity is a complex disease, there are various ways that it can be countered. It could include exercise routines like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or increased access to healthy foods. It could also be medical weight loss programs that are able to address the multifaceted aspects of obesity within a community. These programs combine behavioral changes and medication such as Saxenda for weight loss to achieve optimal results. Weight loss medications help individuals struggling with biology-based weight loss barriers by lowering their appetite and slowing their gastric emptying, which naturally lengthens the feeling of fullness and decreases overall calorie intake.
As a community member, one way to help fight the prevalence of this disease is through educating others regarding its detrimental effects as well as the various weight loss strategies that can be taken. Should local officials promise to include obesity measures in their platforms, you can also use your voting power to ensure your community elects leaders who will actively address this concern.
Diabetes is one of the most significant public health concerns that continues to affect millions and contributes to a rise in chronic illnesses. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a range of serious complications, such as stroke, heart disease, kidney damage, vision loss, and even lower limb amputations.
Being a hereditary disease, it is actually possible for it to be detected early on, which can make it easier to manage in the long run. However, not everyone is aware of this, which is why it is important to educate communities on factors such as how it can be caught early through screenings like fasting blood sugar tests and available treatments such as NovoLog insulin injections. With proper education, communities will better understand the importance of healthy lifestyles, which is one of the most effective ways to prevent diabetes. As a community member, participating in community initiatives that promote regular exercise, nutritious diets, and healthy weight is one of the best ways to encourage others to do the same.
Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in daily activities. Moreover, it affects cognitive functioning, including memory, concentration, and decision-making abilities. Depression also often isolates individuals and makes it difficult for them to connect with others. Unfortunately, depression and other mental health issues are tied to wider issues like homelessness, poverty, and disability. Organizations such as the Sacramento Homeless Union highlight and address how living in poverty can be overwhelming and stressful, affecting individual well-being — and causing far-reaching effects on society in the long-run.
Community interventions are a powerful tool that can challenge the prevailing stigmatization of depression and other mental health conditions. By educating communities, sharing stories of recovery, and organizing campaigns and support groups, communities can foster an environment of empathy, compassion, and understanding. Destigmatizing mental health conditions encourages individuals to seek help and allows them to feel supported and accepted.
If joining such efforts is not something you feel comfortable doing, maybe because of your own trials and sensitivities, then even just promoting a supportive energy within your inner circle will help. As stated in our post entitled "The Best Thing You Can Give Somebody is a Chance - and that Includes Yourself", sharing positive affirmations, both to yourself and among those around you, is the best way to give people a chance and help mitigate the feelings of loneliness that often accompany mental health conditions like depression.