Are you ready for National Public Health Week?

Rebecca Two
Because it’s here! April 2-8.  The theme this year is Changing our Futures Together.  Consider starting conversations with others in your community about the role each of us can play to create healthier people, families, and communities.  Public health work is partnership work achieved when people work together to create strong, vital communities in which all can live and contribute to our full potential.Because it’s here! April 2-8.  The theme this year is Changing our Futures Together.  Consider starting conversations with others in your community about the role each of us can play to create healthier people, families, and communities.  Public health work is partnership work achieved when people work together to create strong, vital communities in which all can live and contribute to our full potential.

During National Public Health Week, each day has a different focus.  Monday’s is behavioral health: how can we advocate for and promote behavioral well-being?   About one in every five U.S. adults experience mental illness in a given year.  At the forefront of this in New Hampshire is the opioid addiction epidemic.  This crisis is touching individuals and families in our state at an unbelievable rate. Projections estimate 485 deaths in 2017, which equates to a per capita rate that is 3rd highest in the country.  This disease is impacting families and children, employers and really, all of us. 

I feel fortunate to be able to make an impact working with many partners to increase access to treatment for people with opioid use disorders.  While building new services is critical, what I find so very important is addressing the stigma experienced by individuals and families struggling with this chronic remitting and relapsing disease of the brain.  The expression of the disease in undesirable behaviors turns many to believe the disease is a choice when it isn’t.  Self-judgement prevents people from seeking help.  Advocate Bernadette Gleeson has a different choice for us. “For us to give people who have addiction their best opportunity to be alive in recovery, “the public” must show up in ways that will change this game forever and end the “public health crisis of addiction.” Every single one of us can harness the power and agency in order to Be An Opportunity for people who have drug or alcohol addiction and people in recovery. No matter where that person is in their recovery, we have the power to be the light instead of pushing people further into darkness – which is where addiction breeds.” Sharing this message is my goal for public health week – what’s yours? #BeAnOpportunity 

One final note, I look forward to seeing each of you at our upcoming Annual Meeting on April 11th at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord, 4 to 7 PM.  Register now!  See article below for more details.

Rebecca Sky
NHPHA President

rss2 buttons 13

Blog Archives