The Office of Public Health Practice at the IU School of Public Health celebrated National Public Health Week this week with a series of events such as meal drives and stress-relieving activities.
Every year, in the first full week of April, the American Public Health Society organizes NPHW to educate people on public health issues ranging from mental wellbeing to access to health care.
Ta-Kisha Jones, Associate Director of the Public Health Practice at SPH, led the organizing team IU NWW this year. Jones said NPHW brings communities together to celebrate how people are healthier and stronger when they are united.
APHA chose “Public Health is Where You Are” as the theme for the week.
“It’s a week to celebrate not only public health professionals, but the work that is being done through our public health system,” Jones said. “That means whether you’re on campus or off campus, whether you’re a dentist, whether you’re a person who takes out the trash, whether you’re a nurse or just a student, public health is everywhere you go are .”
The IU NPHW had a different topic: “Leveraging Resilience and Moving Momentum”. Jones said this theme focuses on celebrating the efforts of students and staff to maintain the health and well-being of everyone on campus.
Jones said the team organizing IU NPHW collected data on public health issues students face today, such as: B. Mental health issues, and university and community resources to address them.
On Monday, students were able to relieve stress by spending time with two Monroe County Humane Society therapy dogs outside of the SPH.
Experts discussed environmental racism and advocacy on Tuesday in a panel discussion that was the first of a three-part series on June 16.
The Office of Public Health Practice also set up student recognition stations at SPH and the Indiana Memorial Union so students could make beaded bracelets and decorate potted plants on Tuesday.
Aly Lewis, an IU Student Health Center intern who worked at the potted plant station, said she enjoyed interacting with students and telling them about public health.
“It’s fun to be able to please people all day long with a little potted plant and educate them at the same time,” said Lewis.
On Wednesday, SPH career coaches and a group of guests discussed professionalism and inclusion in the workplace.
Rory James, director of the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion at SPH, said during the panel that students should increase their cultural and emotional intelligence as it is an important part of professional development.
“We’ve seen this shift where we’re now better positioned in this post-pandemic workplace to accommodate and accept people with different identities,” James said.
On Thursday, students took part in a physical activity scavenger hunt and learned to prepare an inexpensive plant-based meal.
Katie Shepherd, a Registered Dietitian at IU Student Health Center, led the cooking demonstration. Shepherd said NPHW helps people outside of the public health field learn about the importance of public health.
“Before COVID, people didn’t really know what public health was,” Shepherd said. “These events help people become even more aware of public health and their own health.”
Students can practice mindfulness meditation and learn self-care techniques on Friday via Zoom.
The Washington County Wellness Fair takes place on Saturday, the final day of IU’s NPHW. It includes free health services and wellness resources such as health screenings and Supplemental nutritional support program and Medicaid application support.
Jones said the events so far have been very successful in educating people about their health.
“We’re focused on eating right, healthy exercise, not just a sedentary lifestyle that we’re now used to with a lot of remote work, and tackling mental health issues,” Jones said. “Finding a way to integrate everything and be holistically healthy is crucial.”