It’s the 10th Annual LGBT Health Awareness Week (March 25-March 29, 2013)! This week promotes the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender individuals and other sexual and gender minorities. Many organizations around the country are encouraging the community to take a deeper look at tobacco use and quit smoking.
There is a higher prevalence of smoking in the LGBT community. According to a report released by the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network and the Fenway Institute in 2005, LGBT individuals are 40-70 percent more likely to smoke cigarettes than non-LGBT individuals. The same report attributes the increased use within the community to “higher levels of social stress, frequent patronage of bars and clubs, higher rates of alcohol and drug use, and direct targeting of LGBT consumers by the tobacco industry.” A local survey conducted by the Midlands Sexual Health Research Collaborative in 2011 found that 26.2% of the sample reported smoking cigarettes everyday or some days, but nearly half of the sample (46.4%) had smoked more than 5 packs in their life. Additionally, about 1 in 5 smokers in this study reported an attempt at quitting smoking in the last 12 months.
LGBT adolescents are also of particular concern. A recent national study found that 35 percent of adolescent males and 45 percent of adolescent females who reported same-sex attraction or behavior smoked, compared with 29 percent of non-LGBT adolescents. In a 2007 study of LGBT youth, those who smoked told researchers they believe cigarettes add to a facade of toughness that decreases bullying and also act as easy ice breakers.
National LGBT Health Week is organized by the National Coalition for LGBT Health. This year’s campaign, titled “Come Out For Health,” focuses on four core principles: empowering consumers to approach their health care providers concerning their sexual orientation and gender identity; directing their providers on how to be culturally competent and sensitive to the needs of the LGBT community; creating inclusive policy making by getting people involved with government; and reaching out to a variety of communities to raise awareness about the health needs of the LGBT individuals.
For more information or to request a presentation on LGBT tobacco use and prevention initiatives in Douglas County, please contact Diana Rogel-Mendoza at (402) 559-9662 or via email at email@example.com.
In the U.S., the number babies who die in their first year of life is declining, with an all-time low 6.4 infant mortality rate (6.4 deaths for every 1,000 live births) reported in 2009, the most recent available data. The U.S. infant mortality rate ranks near the bottom among industrialized nations. Moreover, there are persistent disparities that affect racial and ethnic minorities and geographic areas.
As a result, Secretary Sebelius has announced the creation of the first-ever national strategy to address infant mortality. The focus of improvements in five common priority areas support efforts to reduce infant mortality through best practices and lessons learned.
- Reduce Elective Deliveries before 39 weeks
- Increase Safe Sleep Practices
- Enhance Perinatal Regionalization Reduction
- Increase smoking cessation among pregnant women
- Expand access to interconception care
On Child Health Day, we are reminded that by giving our children a healthy start in life, we put them and our country on the path to a successful future!
The National Healthy Start Association (NHSA) has worked with federal legislators to designate September as Infant Mortality Awareness Month. Infant Mortality is a serious issue that affects our nation’s health. NHSA has developed a campaign, Celebrate Day 366…Every Baby Deserves a Chance, to celebrate babies living beyond the first year of life. With the infant mortality rate so high across the U.S, an infant living beyond their first birthday is a huge accomplishment for many families.
The Celebrate Day 366…Every Baby Deserves a Chance Infant Mortality Awareness Campaign supports and inspires people from around the nation to take action in support of the Healthy People 2020 goal to improve the health and well-being of women, infants, children and families. Be part of the generation that ensures that every baby has a chance…To take their first step. To say their first word. To graduate from college. To become President. To Celebrate Day 366.
Did you know that in 2005, the latest year that the international ranking is available for, the United States ranked 30th in the world in infant mortality, behind most European countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and Israel? Educational discrepancies are also apparent across color lines when confronted with infant mortality. The infant mortality rate for African American mothers with over 13 years of education was almost three times that of Non-Hispanic White mothers in 2005.
Significant savings can accrue from enabling mothers to add a few ounces to a baby’s weight before birth. An increase of 250 grams (about 1/2 lb) in birth weight saves an average of $12,000 – $16,000 in first year medical expenses. Prenatal interventions that result in a normal birth (over 2500 grams or 5.5 pounds) saves $59,700 in medical expenses in the infant’s first year.
Learn more about infant mortality at: http://www.nationalhealthystart.org/what_we_do/infant_mortality_awareness_campaign. Be sure to Tweet about it and send it back to @NatlHealthyStrt.
Each year the second week in August is dedicated to celebrating the services and contributions of Community, Migrant, Homeless and Public Housing Health Centers. While there are countless reasons to celebrate America’s Health Centers, among the most important and unique is their long success in providing access to affordable, high quality, cost effective health care to medically vulnerable and underserved people throughout the United States.
There are 44 million uninsured people in this nation and another 56 million who, although they may have health insurance, live in areas without doctors and basic health services. These health centers serve as the medical and health care home for over 20 million people nationally – a number that is quickly growing. Health center patients are among the nation’s most vulnerable populations – people who even if insured would nonetheless remain isolated from traditional forms of medical care because of where they live, who they are, the language they speak, and their higher levels of complex health care needs. As a result, patients are disproportionately low income, uninsured or publicly insured, and minority.
Let’s thank our Community Health Care Centers for all that they do to reduce disparities each and every day!
Mental illness doesn’t go away in bad economic times—neither should funding for mental health care.
- One veteran dies by suicide approximately every 80 min.
- Six in ten adults who need mental health services don’t get treatment.
- Three-quarters of serious mental illness occurs by age 24. Screening and early intervention improves lives and helps families.
- People living with mental illness are overrepresented in jails and prisons. End the criminalization of mental illness.
- Mental health treatment works, but many aren’t getting care they need. Access is part of the solution. Covering mental health saves lives and saves families money.
- Mental health services need to be there when people need them. It’s an investment in our families and our communities.
- Over 50% of students with a mental disorder over 14 drop out of school. Early intervention can save lives.
Throughout the month of July, we encourage you to learn more about mental health issues and what you can do. If you would like to get more involved in activities this month, contact Center staff member, Antonia Correa, at (402) 559-3670 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Talk about it. Leave us a comment, Facebook us, or Tweet us @UNMCCRHD using the hashtag: #MinorityMentalHealth and #vote4mentalhealth.
Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness, www.nami.org.