What does public health have to do with me?

Self-centered. Ego-centric. Narcissistic. These are terms that describe the 2017 culture.

Social media. This platform has gained the power of publicly displaying the lives of individuals and their networks. For young people growing up in this age, their self-worth, popularity, and social capital is defined by SnapChat, Instagram, and Facebook. As a result, suicide rates among young people have increased. While every individual may not align their self-worth with images displayed on social media, the culture tells a different story. Each individual is connected, whether directly or indirectly, to the culture.

Travel. Many people travel to varied parts of the world. While travel is wonderful and exposes individuals, couples, and groups to an array of foods, experiences, and timeless moments, it also exposes individuals to different environments, vectors of infection, and health risks. When those individuals, couples, and groups return home, they sometimes bring the health risk with them, which will directly or indirectly affect the people they encounter, the public.

Beliefs. The beliefs of individuals and groups have the influential power to affect the way people respond to other people. In some cases, these responses reflect the tenants of racism, sexism, elitism, and varied other isms that leave permanent infractions upon vulnerable populations (i.e. gender/race minorities, people of low socioeconomic status, LGTBQ community members, and others). The belief system of individuals impact, rather directly or indirectly, cultural dynamics within culture.

Public health. These two words describe the state of health for the public. Mental Health. Social Health. Physical Health. Spiritual Health. Social media influences, our travel experiences, and our beliefs systems all work together and have profound impact on the overall health of the at-large community. What does public health have to do with you? It has everything to do with you and everyone that you are connected to, whether directly or indirectly. You are an influencer. You matter. What you do has impact. Your impact can either improve or diminish the health of others that share a public space with you. Choose your impact level.