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National Health Week puts focus on healthier living

Posted 3 April 2018 at 9:55 am

By Nola Goodrich-Kresse, Health Educator and Public Information Officer for Orleans County Health Department

The first week of April is National Public Health Week (NPHW), a week set aside encouraging us to choose healthier living.

National Public Health Week started in April of 1995 by the American Public Health Association (APHA) with a focus on Public Health prevention topics. This year’s theme is, “Healthiest Nation 2030 Changing Our Future Together.” This year the focus is on working together to make changes in our health and the health of our communities.

“As we look at overall health we know there are many components that can affect our wellness and participation in activities such as work, school and recreation,” said Paul Pettit, Director of both Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “Taking positive steps in our personal lives by choosing to make healthier food choices, become more active, limit or stop the use of nicotine/tobacco products and alcohol and seeking help when we are experiencing depression and anxiety will have an impact on our lives and our communities. Taking small steps can make a difference in the long run.”

Review the following daily themes and see what you can do to work toward becoming the Healthiest You 2018!

The focus areas chosen this year are:

• Monday – Behavioral Health: Advocate for and promote well-being

• Tuesday – Communicable Diseases: Learn about ways to prevent disease transmission

• Wednesday – Environmental Health: Help to protect and maintain a healthy planet

• Thursday – Injury and Violence Prevention: Learn about the effects of injury and violence on health

• Friday – Ensuring the Right to Health: Advocate for everyone’s right to a healthy life

This article only touches on a couple of the focus areas listed above. To learn more about National Public Health Week and the movement for change, visit their website at www.nphw.org.

Behavioral Health: Advocate for and promote well-being. Being aware that mental health and wellness plays a major part in our overall health. This is an opportunity to de-stigmatize mental health diagnoses and encourage people who are experiencing mental unwellness to seek treatment. There are several trainings to teach about the services available in our respective communities. Mental Health First Aid, SafeTALK are two trainings that help increase awareness of mental unwellness and where to seek help.

Communicable Diseases: Learn about ways to prevent disease transmission. “Washing your hands often is the single most effective way to limit the spread of many diseases,” said Brenden Bedard, Director of Community Health Services for both Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “As we have seen in this year’s flu season it is important so make sure you and your family are up to date on immunizations against vaccine-preventable diseases.”

One of the easiest ways to strive toward a healthier nation is to take care of you. Make sure you eat well, engage in physical activity often, spend less time in front of a screen, and get plenty of rest.  Treat yourself and others with care and respect. And finally, remember to have fun and laugh … after all, laughter is the best medicine.

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