Public Health Problems within the Community
Public health problems are a major concern in our communities today. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are responsible for monitoring top public health concerns. The major issues addressed by the CDC include food safety, alcohol related issues, heart disease and stroke among others. These concerns are associated with several deaths each year.
Public health professionals are tasked with the responsibility of addressing public health concerns through education of the general public, policy recommendation, conducting research and offering vital services (Gollust et al., 2019). This essay aims at highlighting a public health problem that greatly affects the community and discussing collaboration with health workers to justify the health problem.
Health Problem in the Community.
Depression is a commonly observed heath condition that greatly impacts an individual’s thoughts, behavior and actions. Depression results in sadness, loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities and greatly impacts overall productivity of the affected person.
Depression is mostly a mental health complication. Some medical condition including thyroid problems and brain tumors are, however, associated with depression. Primary prevention is being applied in depression to greatly minimize the occurrence of new episodes of depression.
Depression is particularly high in adolescents and teenagers aged twelve to seventeen years. Prevalence of depression was higher in adolescents from low-income backgrounds as compared to their counterparts from high-income families. Children who had experienced traumatic childhood experiences also tended to report a higher prevalence of depression.
The center for disease control and prevention estimated that about 3.2% of children aged 3 to 17 years suffer from depression (Zhu et al., 2019). This rate was particularly higher in teens as compared to young children. In Florida, research done between 2013 and 2014 showed that about 146,000 adolescents, translating to approximately 10.5% of all adolescents, experienced at least one episode of depression within the year (Meldrum et al., 2020).
Social Determinants and Health Behaviors.
Social determinants affecting the health outcomes in adolescents can be categorized into several levels including individual level, family level and community level. The belief of social determinants affecting health outcomes is based on the fact that diseases can be attributed to several causes, found both inside and outside the individual’s body. Depression and other mental health issues are no different and are greatly impacted by several social determinants.
Socioeconomic status has been indicated as a major social determinant of depression among adolescents. Research indicates that socioeconomically disadvantaged adolescents have a higher likelihood of developing mental health issues and that declining socioeconomic status is directly linked with an increase in the prevalence of depression and other mental health issues (Thapa et al., 2021).
Health inequalities resulting from socioeconomic gaps in society have been shown to have major health outcomes when it comes to depression among adolescents and teenagers.
Several psychosocial determinants have also been linked with affecting health outcomes among adolescents. Stress while at school, physical or sexual violence, bullying, harassment and victimization are some of the risk factors that have been associated with deteriorating mental health (Lesner et al., 2017).
Witnessing traumatic events has also been linked with mental health issues. School stress and violence are commonly observed among adolescents and teenagers within our communities and this greatly predisposes them to depression and other mental health complications.
Individual determinants have also been shown to greatly affect health outcomes and predispose to mental health conditions. An individual’s race, age and gender greatly affect the person’s resilience and overall sense of self-esteem and self-acceptance (Hall, 2017).
A sense of self-esteem and resilience is vital in overcoming certain situations. If this sense is impaired, the individual is greatly predisposed to depression and other mental health conditions therefore greatly affecting health outcomes.
Collaboration with Health Workers.
Interdisciplinary collaborative efforts are key in the management of depression among adolescents and teenagers. Primary care providers are best positioned to address depression among adolescents. This involves engagement of both the family and learning institutions. School health care providers can also play a vital role in this process.
These groups, however, lack sufficient training and access to other psychiatric providers to refer to (Owen et al., 2020). Collaboration between adolescent psychiatrists and pediatricians can provide good avenues to screen and offer the best management options especially among at risk adolescents. These efforts are vital in addressing depression and other mental health concerns among teenagers.
Health Data from Multiple Sources.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one in every seven people aged 10 to 19 years suffer from mental health conditions accounting for approximately 13% of the global disease burden (Vreeman et al., 2017). Depression, anxiety and behavioral disorders are the commonly o observed disorders among adolescents.
In the United States, major depression is one of the commonest observed mental health disorders. An estimated 3.8 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 years accounting for about 15.7% of the total population were reported to have suffered a major depression episode.
In conclusion, depression is a commonly observed mental health disorder that greatly affects adolescents and teenagers. Research indicate that the condition is commonly observed among this group of individuals. Several determinants including socioeconomic status and life stressors greatly predispose to this condition. Collaborative efforts between mental health practitioners and other key stakeholders is vital in addressing this issue.
Gollust, S. E., Fowler, E. F., & Niederdeppe, J. (2019). Television news coverage of public health issues and implications for public health policy and practice. Annual Review of Public Health, 40(1), 167–185. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-040218-044017
Hall, W. J. (2017). Psychosocial risk and protective factors for depression among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and Queer Youth: A systematic review. Journal of Homosexuality, 65(3), 263–316. https://doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2017.1317467
Lesner, K., Reich, A., Szepietowski, J., Dalgard, F., Gieler, U., Tomas-Aragones, L., Lien, L., Poot, F., Jemec, G., Misery, L., Szabó, C., Linder, D., Sampogna, F., Evers, A., Halvorsen, J., Balieva, F., Lvov, A., Marron, S., Altunay, I., … Kupfer, J. (2017). Determinants of psychosocial health in psoriatic patients: A multinational study. Acta Dermato Venereologica, 97(10), 1182–1188. https://doi.org/10.2340/00015555-2760
Meldrum, R. C., Jackson, D. B., Zgoba, K., & Testa, A. (2020). Sleep duration, handgun carrying, and taking a handgun to school: An analysis of a statewide sample of Florida youth. Sleep Health, 6(2), 153–158. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2019.11.008
Owen, M. C., & Wallace, S. B. (2020). Advocacy and collaborative health care for Justice-involved youth. Pediatrics, 146(1). https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2020-1755
Thapa, B., Torres, I., Koya, S. F., Robbins, G., Abdalla, S. M., Arah, O. A., Weeks, W. B., Zhang, L., Asma, S., Morales, J. V., Galea, S., Rhee, K., & Larson, H. J. (2021). Use of data to understand the social determinants of depression in two middle‐income countries: The 3‐D commission. Journal of Urban Health, 98(S1), 41–50. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-021-00559-6
Vreeman, R. C., McCoy, B. M., & Lee, S. (2017). Mental health challenges among adolescents living with HIV. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 20, 21497. https://doi.org/10.7448/ias.20.4.21497
Zhu, X., Haegele, J. A., & Healy, S. (2019). Movement and mental health: Behavioral correlates of anxiety and depression among children of 6–17 years old in the U.S. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 16, 60–65. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mhpa.2019.04.002