National Public Health Week
National public health week has come and gone (April 4th-10th) and I and my classmates in Health Communication Methods helped to put on some events on Truman’s campus to increase public health and raise awareness about the impact public health efforts have on our daily lives.
We put on some “kickoff events” to bring some more public health awareness and education to Truman students. I helped work the table for “Sex on the quad,” which gave out candy, condoms, and informational brochures on the quad. From what I saw many people were willing to take the goody bags from the table and receptive to the message of safe sex.
Although we are not there on the quad every day providing information, I think it was helpful to bring awareness to the availability of this information on campus. Also, since it was tied to National Public Health Week, some students may now realize sexual health is a part of public health efforts if they had not before.
The sticker at the top was used for National Public Health Week to recognize all that public health efforts do for, well, the public! I and some other students were part of the team responsible for posting pictures on social media using the “This is public health sticker” on services around campus.
I think the average student doesn’t realize all of the services they have access to due to public health efforts. Some people may not know what public health means at all while others think of the more specific measures like vaccines and exercise and nutrition programs. However, public health is much more wide-spread and inclusive than many might think. Public health does include vaccines and exercise & nutrition programs; however, it also includes many aspects affecting these issues as well as many other issues. Public health is more than the mere distribution of services, it has to do with the policy surrounding the issue as well as all microsystems affecting how people obtain services and what services people need — researching and providing for new needs.
We took pictures of those different aspects of public health and posted them on social media. I used Twitter to post these pictures. Below is a picture of the “this is public health sticker” on the new bike racks on the Mall. These bike racks give students a safe place to lock up their bike, allowing them to have a means of more active transportation, as well as decreasing emissions from vehicles.
Other pictures that were posted with “this is public health” stickers, by me on Twitter, included the new water bottle filler in the library, emergency call poles outside on campus, benches, and handicapped door opening buttons. On Facebook, more pictures posted by the other group featured fire alarms, AEDs, evacuation procedure signs next to elevators, and recycling bins. Students walk next to these things every day, yet many probably never realized they are a part of providing for public health and conditions for healthy living of the students at Truman. Without people advocating for public health it would be hard to advocate for such things that are crucial to the optimal health and well-being of students.