How Community, Family, and Relationships Impact Health
Social isolation is slowly becoming the norm today, especially for younger generations. We can complete errands and work without leaving the house, but we can’t survive on our own. There is simply no substitute for real human connections, and the truth is, we need others. So, how can we ensure that our relationships are healthy and fulfilling? How does spending too much time alone affect our bodies and minds? What role can the community play in improving health outcomes for adults and youth?
How Can Community, Family, and Relationships Impact Health?
A Proven Link Between Social Relationships and Health
There’s a reason that social isolation has been used as a form of torture for prisoners of war. Being alone for extended periods of time affects us drastically. According to the National Library of Medicine, studies continuously show that those with few social ties are more likely to die than those with healthy relationships. Socially isolated individuals are also at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cancer and other diseases. Being supported, cared for, and loved by others quite literally lifts us up. Positive relationships bolster our mental health and physical health.
How Community Can Make a Difference in Shaping Health: North Carolina Case Studies
Community, family, and relationships impact health in an immediate and direct way. For instance, communities can improve health outcomes on a large scale by coming together. Two programs set up in North Carolina communities are excellent examples of this. Before Village HeartBEAT stepped in, the African American community in Mecklenburg County was struggling with high levels of cardiovascular disease. Over 60 faith-based organizations worked together through the program to provide residents with health resources. Consequently, the smoking rate and obesity rate in the area decreased significantly.
Additionally, The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition made an impact by handing out over 6,000 naloxone kits to opioid users in rural counties. Over 550 overdoses were reversed as a result. When communities collaborate effectively, they can make a dramatic change in the lives of residents.
How Community Can Make a Difference in Shaping Health: B’More Healthy Communities for Kids
Similarly, the B’More Healthy Communities for Kids program aims to limit childhood obesity among low-income African American youth in Baltimore. They have intervened at every level, from community and government organizations to corner stores, rec centers and social media channels. Families can access healthier foods and learn the importance of healthy eating through the organization’s work with community members. Without togetherness, nutrition takes a back seat to other concerns, making it harder for families to prioritize their health. People need each other in order to solve problems and improve health outcomes for all.
Strengthen Baltimore’s Youth with MissionFit!
At MissionFit, we recognize the fact that community, family, and relationships impact health. We are highly dedicated to strengthening Baltimore youth through classes and an open gym. It’s our goal to encourage positive traits, like respect and teamwork, and provide children with a place to gain self-confidence and enjoy some exercise. To learn more about our classes or donate to support our mission, visit our website. We’re making health a possibility and a priority for Baltimore’s youth. If you want to support us, here are two easy ways to do so:
- Donate here if you believe community, family, and relationships impact health!
- You can put your online shopping to good use by donating a percentage of your purchase with AmazonSmile! To get started, sign in here, search for “MissionFit” and select us as your charity of choice.