My Involvement with Impact: I went on my first Impact trip last Winter Break to Savannah GA on the topic of Shelter and Resource Access. I learned so much about intersectionality, marginalized groups, sustainable service, and how the needs of a community are always changing. My mind was opened to so many new concepts and I wanted to continue learning more, so I decided that I wanted to do more as a site leader! Impact truly introduced me to some of the most genuine people at UGA and I love being surrounded by a community that wants to fight for justice.
Why I am Interested in my Trip’s Focus: I am interested in Community Health and Wellbeing because there are so many intersectional social issues that fall into this category and health manifests in so many different ways. I am also passionate about affordable and accessible health care because it is a human right. More specifically, I have negative personal experience with mental health and that has allowed me to become passionate about accessible mental health resources and diversifying the people within the field that provide such services.
Atithi Patel (she/her/hers) 3rd Year Biology Major and Public Health Minor
How did I get involved with IMPACT? One of my best friends is 3 years older than me, so while she was at UGA, she always recounted her amazing experiences with IMPACT, both as a participant and as a Site Leader. Years before I had even applied to UGA, I knew I wanted to go on an IMPACT trip. I had high expectations, and they were just blown effortlessly out of the water on my freshman year trip to Orlando, FL. IMPACT puts together groups of people who have one thing in common: a desire to improve the world through social justice. This common thread inspired me throughout my trip and I knew I wanted to continue to learn and serve throughout my time at UGA.
Why am I interested in my trip focus? The health of a community impacts the health of every individual within that community. This is an issue that is intersectional at its core; yet, most people don’t view health in this broad manner. I hope to take this chance to expose how health can be impacted by a variety of social issues. Affordable healthcare and a healthy surrounding community should be accessible to everyone. Growing up in India, I have personally seen how overcrowding, pollution, and lackluster education can impact health. This will be a great opportunity to notice other issues that also impact the health of the Nashville community and to learn about the similarities that are also present within the communities that I am part of.
Fun fact? I love listening to music of all different languages, French, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Community Health and Well-Being? Community wellbeing is the combination of social, economic, environmental, cultural, and political conditions identified by individuals and their communities as essential for them to flourish and fulfill their potential.
Key Terms: Connectedness: Community’s social networks that offer social support, foster civic engagement, and empower members to participate in community and democracy Livability: how much a community is supported by infrastructure including housing, transportation, education, human services, and more Equity: members are treated with fairness, basic needs are met, and there is an equal opportunity to meet individual potential Health Care Access: refers to the ease with which an individual can obtain needed medical services. Affordable Housing: Any type of housing, including rental/home ownership, permanent/temporary, for-profit/non-profit, that costs less than 30% of a household’s pre-tax income. Severe Mental Illness: a serious and persistent mental or emotional disorder (e.g. schizophrenia, mood-disorders, schizo-affective disorders) that interrupts people’s abilities to carry out a range of daily life activities such as self-care, interpersonal relationships, maintaining housing, employment or stay in school. Community Based Mental Health Care: encompasses a wide variety of programs and services designed to meet local needs that are delivered primarily by community agencies and sometimes through hospitals or health clinics. Self-care: the process of maintaining and promoting one’s health, wellbeing and development to meet the everyday challenges and stressors. Reproductive Rights: the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. Homophobia: encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBTQ+); a factor in high LGBT homelessness
General Facts: -About 44 million people in this country have no health insurance, and another 38 million have inadequate health insurance. -As of 2018, 553,000 people are experiencing homelessness in the United States -1 in 5 young people suffer from a mental illness, that's 20 percent of our population but yet only about 4 percent of the total health care budget is spent on our mental health.
How Does Community Health and Well-Being Look in Athens? -1 in 4 people are living in poverty. -16.3% of people under the age of 65 are uninsured. -The percentage of people experiencing homelessness in Athens is more than double the national average.
Dr. Grace Bagwell Adams from the UGA College of Public Health talks about community building approaches and the Athens Wellbeing Project. https://youtu.be/BlstIINKJAw
Professor Adams is working with community partners and using data collection strategies to better understand these factors as they affect community well-being in Athens: Lifelong Learning, Health, Housing, Community Safety, and Civic Vitality. The hope is that having more robust information will better inform policy and practice in a variety of settings within the community. http://www.athenswellbeingproject.org/what-we-do