#NPHW: Addressing SDOH is More Important Than Ever

Today marks the start of National Public Health Week (#NPHW) in the US (April 6-12). In the wake of the current health crisis with COVID-19, public health is even more in the spotlight. Professionals are working tirelessly to care for their communities, but that care extends far beyond the hospital.

As we look ahead to the coming months and the eventual return to “normal,” youth risk screening will be crucial for identifying and providing support to youth who may be facing new risks, like mental health or hunger. RAAPS for Public Health (RAAPS-PH) can help make sure you have the tools and support you need. Included in the Children’s Hospital Association screening tool recommendations for social determinants of health (SDOH), RAAPS-PH uncovers chronic exposure to stressors (such as hunger, homelessness, teen pregnancy and discrimination) that threaten healthy brain, cognitive and social-emotional development. RAAPS-PH also offers the full capability to administer remotely via text message or email, so you can continue to screen youth while practicing social distancing guidelines.

Whether you’re still able to connect with the youth you serve now or not, RAAPS-PH can help make sure you’re prepared to get them the care they need when you are. For more ways you can support your organization and community this #NPHW, here is a rundown of the week’s daily themes and resources to help during the current pandemic:

  • MONDAY: Mental Health. The heightened stress that many are feeling during this time of isolation highlights the importance of emotional well-being. Share these 4 techniques with parents to improve communication and help ease some of the tension families may be feeling as we all practice social distancing.
  • TUESDAY: Maternal and Child Health. Regardless of age or risk, we all need to take extra measures for the safety of ourselves and others. HealthyChildren.org has a COVID-19 page for children and families, and the American Academy of Pediatrics offers links to clinical guidance and other resources.
  • WEDNESDAY: Violence Prevention. Increased stress can lead to increased aggression, feeding a cycle of violence especially in communities already under strain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers tips on managing anxiety and stress and the National Domestic Violence Hotline offers support at 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) and via online CHAT (24/7/365) at http://bit.ly/the-hotline.
  • THURSDAY: Environmental Health. In perhaps one of the few silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic, air pollution, specifically CO2 levels, diminished in Italy due to dramatic lifestyle changes. As a few general tips, remain vigilant in recycling plastics and, if you are sick, dispose of soiled items by double-bagging in secured containers with lids.
  • FRIDAY: Education. With schools closed across the country, parents, students and teachers are having to find creative ways to receive the education and support they’re used to, from continuing lessons to receiving daily meals they may not have otherwise received at home. Interested in getting involved? Reach out to your local school system to see if volunteers are needed, whether for meal distribution, online learning support or other tasks.
  • SATURDAY: Healthy Homes. During the COVID-19 quarantine, people are spending even more time in their homes than usual.  CDC’s Protect Your Home page offers preventive steps and how to care for someone if they are sick in your home. 
  • SUNDAY: Economics. It already appears clear that many industries and their employees will suffer a significant financial hardship. On an individual level, the burden of being out of work and (potentially) hospitalized for an extended period of time can have disastrous impacts on financial health. In addition to offering support where you are able, it will also be incredibly important that we are vigilant of lasting effects this may have on our youth in the months to come and supply the resources they need to recover and thrive.

To learn more about how RAAPS-PH can support your efforts schedule a call with us today.

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