Social class can determine the level of discrimination to be faced in a society with health inequities. However, attempts are constantly in development to address to reduce the stigma of mental health or to increase community partnerships in order to provide tangible solutions to these human rights violations. In fact, structural inequities are reinforced when these thematic areas are not taught in the classroom to equip students with the tools to tackle adverse societal reactions to social injustice. Violence ensues as a result of not feeling heard through the fences of living in unsafe neighborhoods or not having access to insurance coverage to pay for medication. Therefore, the report’s objective is to understand how strengthening communities can be redefined through the lens of social health determinants, on the use of public education to address the challenges we face and how cultural beliefs can dictate our experiences with violence based on the legacy of legalized discrimination.
Redefinition of Strengthening Communities through Social Health Determinants
The strategy behind the topics of violence, mental health, education in public health, and strengthening communities is to inculcate social justice in the tapestry of public health empirical knowledge and practice. Obviously, it is unthinkable to increase knowledge on social justice if global countries and its citizens do not possess the necessary tools to drive progress to improve the health status of vulnerable populations. In a nutshell, violence does not always have to result in physical altercations, instead a population may experience psychological violence when the basic resources they deserve are not within reach (Mercy et al. 2019). These circumstances envelop those who reside in urban areas without stocked grocery stores in their neighborhoods. Consequently, an increase in minor crimes or armed conflicts follow yielding to unfavorable outcomes for all parties involved.
This illustration of violence demonstrates that no element in a society works in silo but rather in a collective action bargain wherein all sectors are affected when one disintegrates. These ideas of violence can be shaped through the influences of cultural norms, beliefs or attitudes. Again, the focus of all the aforementioned topics is to restore equal distribution of restoration justice across all social groups to reframe the factors that encourage discrimination, racial prejudice and deprivation among its citizens.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance to build strategic alliances with nonprofit, social justice partners working to identify alternative ways to bring positional equity. This is especially relevant to addressing mental health disparities in minority populations. For example, black populations have feelings of distrust in receiving mental health services. This is an opportunity for medical providers to understand the historical legacy of organized research on perpetuating stigma on mental disorders and discrimination (Muntaner et al. 2019). In general, many studies have affirmed the fact that mentally ill patients are best suited in communities who are actively decreasing the global burden of mental illness using synchronized public health models. As explained by Muntaner et al. (2019), cultural beliefs reinforce the stigma as in the case of Asian cultures where shame is betrothed to family members’ marriage and employment prospects.
This is precisely the reason why public education on the entrenching impact of cultural values on people’s experience of social justice might give rise to quantitative and qualitative analyses pertinent to the discernment of the relationship between social health determinants and cultural practices. These analyses would deepen our knowledge on bringing about targeted interventions on resolving mental health disparities or dissolving policies that reduce employment opportunities in vulnerable populations (Aronson et al. 2019).
The contextual practice of reconciling policies that triggered a decline in low wage employments such as the North American Free Trade Agreement puts into perspective the domino effect of policies that undermined the social tapestry of the United States based on restrictive and self-limiting philosophical ideologies. Indeed, the engagement with external and internal community partners could assist with defining intervention programs through the prism of social justice. However, these interventions are not sustainable unless the government supports these initiatives with an emphasis of community policing to strengthen prevention and proactive partnerships. The term community policing was used in the context of improving public safety in relation to violence. But, the theoretical concept can be applied in safeguarding the public safety of vulnerable communities through the access of health services such as The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill or Health in All Policies promoting mental health through the use of social determinants of health.
In summary, the development of frameworks to understand the cultural norms or attitudes towards violence, for instance, is important to use as feedback apparatuses to inform Evidence-based practices. Indeed, it can be extremely difficult to understand the historical context of the evolution of the state of our public health to date. Nevertheless, the public health models used to inform health interventions are not always effective in improving patient satisfaction and perceptions of health disparities. consequently, the report also demanded that public institutions be held accountable in bringing exposure to alternative ways to improve the health status of vulnerable populations starting in their curriculum development.
- Aronson, R.E., Lovelace, K., Hatch, J.W. & Whitehead, T. L. (2019). Strengthening communities and the roles of individuals in building community life. In Levy, B. S., & McStowe, H. L. (Eds.), Social injustice and public health (p. 495-516). Oxford University Press.
- Lawrence, R.S. (2019). Promoting social justice through education in public health. In Levy, B. S., & McStowe, H. L. (Eds.), Social injustice and public health (p. 517-529). Oxford University Press.
- Mercy, J.A. & Degue, S. (2019). Violence. In Levy, B. S., & McStowe, H. L. (Eds.), Social injustice and public health (p. 331-362). Oxford University Press.
- Muntaner, C., NG, E., Chung, H., Hessel, P., & Eaton, W. (2019). Mental Health. In Levy, B. S., & McStowe, H. L. (Eds.), Social injustice and public health (p. 307-330). Oxford University Press.