Health and Health Awareness

What is Health?

Health. What does one even think of when they hear the word? To most, it’s doctor appointments, health check ups and sick kids. You have good health if you’re got a working immune system, no diseases and live life the normal way. However, the word health is not confined to physical limits.

The most popular definition of Health comes from the World Health Organisation (WHO) when they were forming the Preamble of the Constitution of the WHO.

… Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity…

This means that there are three different factors that need to be considered when determining whether you are healthy.

Physical health refers the physical well being of a person which means that they don’t have any diseases or physical defects to their body. Fitness assessments, BMI calculations and other methods are used to determine your physical health.

 

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Differences in Brain of a Depressed (left) person and Normal (right) person

 

Mental health is the psychological condition of our mind. Bipolar, Multiple Personality Disorder and Chronic Depression are examples  of mental health disorders. Most do not take mental health seriously and this is a serious problem.

What is Health Awareness and Why Do We Need To Promote It?

Health awareness is the spreading of information related to health issues that is thought to be beneficial.

Raising awareness on your own, as part of a small group or part of your community can make a difference. Taking action and raising awareness of  health conditions can break down obstacles and improve the chance of recovery.

Health conditions are serious, certainly, and it is to the benefit of public to raise awareness about their diagnosis and treatment to save lives.

Many of us believe that mental health isn’t important, isn’t fatal, or that other aspects of our lives are more important, like physical health. However, it is and we need to spread awareness about health- physical and mental.

 

What Can We Do To Promote Health Awareness?

Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care. Each year, the movement grows stronger. Raising awareness on your own, as part of a small group or part of your community can make a difference.
Taking action and raising awareness of mental health conditions can break down obstacles and improve the chance of recovery.
Take the stigmafree Pledge
Mental health matters to everyone. Individuals, companies, organizations and others can all take the pledge to learn more about mental illness, to see a person for who they are and take action on mental health issues. Take the pledge and raise awareness.
Learn about mental health—educate myself and others
See the person not the illness—strive to listen, understand, tell my own story
Take action—spread the word, raise awareness, make a difference
Over 80 per cent of those quizzed claimed that they dine healthily and pay attention to what they eat. However, on further questioning, 55 per cent of respondents admitted to not exercising regularly. Almost as many (49 per cent) said they did not watch their fat and sugar intake.

Child obesity and diabetes are problems that need urgent attention, and authorities, schools and parents owe it to the children to act now.

The Connection between Physical and Mental Health

Mental and physical health is fundamentally linked. There are multiple associations between mental health and chronic physical conditions that significantly impact people’s quality of life, demands on health care and other publicly funded services, and generate consequences to society.  The World Health Organization (WHO) defines: health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.   The WHO states that “there is no health without mental health.”
Nowhere is the relationship between mental and physical health more evident than in the area of chronic conditions. The associations between mental and physical health are:
Poor mental health is a risk factor for chronic physical conditions.
People with serious mental health conditions are at high risk of experiencing chronic physical conditions.
People with chronic physical conditions are at risk of developing poor mental health.
The social determinants of health impact both chronic physical conditions and mental health. Key aspects of prevention include increasing physical activity, access to nutritious foods, ensuring adequate income and fostering social inclusion and social support. This creates opportunities to enhance protective factors and reduce risk factors related to aspects of mental and physical health.

 

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How Stress Affects the Body

 
Understanding the links between mind and body is the first step in developing strategies to reduce the incidence of co-existing conditions and support those already living with mental illnesses and chronic physical conditions.
Our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes can positively or negatively affect our biological functioning. In other words, our minds can affect how healthy our bodies are!

Health Awareness Programmes: Part One

India is a densely populated country where a large number of people live without access to the basic education and primary health facilities. The situation is more complex in rural villages comparing to the urban areas.

Their houses are poorly established and do not have proper supply of water and electricity. They somehow manage little water from resources available at the distant places and hardly think of having shower, clean their cloths and renovate their shelters.

In addition to their poor socio economic condition, another major cause of their sufferings is lack of education and public awareness.

In rural areas pregnant ladies don’t go to hospitals for delivering their baby. They think it is more complex then to take help from the local mid wife. Most of them have more number of children than the well to do people. They don’t follow the small family norms.

They think that children are the God’s blessings and are not to be stopped from coming to this world. Their children don’t go to schools. They don’t pay attention towards their personal hygiene and health.

This is due to lack of resources and public awareness of making the optimum use of available resources.

As a result, they are malnourished and often fall sick. Due to poor economic condition they are not in a position to pay their medical bills and after little struggle, most of them pass away in their fifties.

Volunteers can play an important role in promoting health awareness in this community.

They work hand in hand with the local coordinators of the community organizations in organizing health camps for medical check up, giving vaccinations, supplying nutritious supplements and deliver the informal tips of health care in the schools, day care centers and give message to the people to adopt small family norms at community centers.

These kinds of activities help the otherwise ignorant and unaware community to empower them with the knowledge and resources to improve their overall quality of life.