It seems that every month or week is dedicated to another cause, or another disease. While this is perfect to improve awareness this is only true if the information get’s out there effectively. For some bigger initiatives that have quite a backing, such as Breast Cancer Awareness or Food Day, the info get’s out there quickly and effectively but this is not always the case. For example, despite the many posts we’ve had on the topic of children and youth in the past weeks how many of you know that October is Children’s Health Month? Well, it is, and a quick google search once you are aware of that fact brings to light several helpful resources.
Children’s Health Month focuses on the physical, environmental, emotional, and psychological health and well being of the nation’s youth. Interestingly, it seems that every government entity is putting it’s own spin on the month itself. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency is stressing the importance of protecting the environment (air quality, water quality etc.) as it relates to youth health. They say: “Children are more affected by pollution than adults for many reasons. They are smaller, their organ systems are still developing, their play and learning behaviors expose them to additional environmental threats.” As another example, the Consumer Product Safety Commission stresses the importance of parents to do a safety check of their homes and products to decrease the likelihoods of injury or death.
While effective in getting each entity’s message across, this may be why we haven’t heard about the month sooner. We often forget that reinventing the wheel and eliminating a cohesively shared message limits our impact. This is as true for social workers stressing the importance of increasing wages but debating who this should cover as it is for government entities attempting to spread awareness of the very serious topic of Child Health. I would like to see a more united front in both efforts, and believe SJS and fellow social workers can do just that.
If you would like further resources, here are some links shared by USA.Gov, which is where I personally found out about the initiative:
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