Part 1: Role of Communication
Public health refers to what the society, including individuals and communities do to create conditions that enable people to become healthy. Public health communication refers to the act of informing, educating and influencing the public about public health (Dougals et al., 2014). Communication is at the core of public health as without means of disseminating information in understandable formats, it would be almost impossible to achieve public health. A key role of communication in public health is exchanging information, and it is through this function that messages on what people can do to become healthy can be communicated to people. Through communication, people can exchange meaningful information regarding what they can do to enhance public health.
Public health is influenced by several factors, including social factors, psychosocial factors, environmental factors, and political factors that define how people live. Public health communication considers all these factors by implementing different communication strategies and interventions. It also considers culture, population dynamics and health concerns when addressing populations. The role of communication in public health is to tailor public health messages based on these factors to ensure that the right messages are communicated (Kim & White, 2016). For instance, public health communication strategies might include community action and coalition building to implement initiatives that are meant to promote public health.
Another role of communication in public health is being interventional and promoting the health of populations through initiating change at all levels of influence. Communication can be used to elicit community change by shaping attitudes, creating awareness and initiating behavioral change. For my review articles, communication would play a critical role in promoting the public health services by creating awareness, increasing knowledge, and shaping attitudes. It would also address the cultures, ideas, values, and concerns of people regarding public health, thereby ensuring that the target populations understand the message.
Communication in public health should also adopt a two way approach whereby information is passed to audiences and the audience has a chance to provide feedback and express concerns (Malcarney et al., 2017). This implies that for public health interventions to be effective, the information from and about the community should be shared with the community at all levels of the intervention including the development stage, planning and implementation. This level of community engagement will ensure that the intervention being implemented reflects the needs and concerns of the intended audience in ways that promote its success. For instance, if it is heart disease intervention, the people should have a say on what activities they are ready to participate in order to promote their heart health.
Part 2: Community Health Forum
Addiction disorders and other addictive behaviors are a public health concern because they are progressive, meaning that they get worse with time, and intervention is therefore needed. Addiction disorders, substance abuse, and other addictive behaviors fall under behavioral health disorders, which involve illnesses caused by conscious decisions that one is unable to resist even though they might be harmful (Savolainen et al., 2018). Some of the addiction disorders that one might struggle with include:
- Sex addition – this involves any compulsive sexual behavior that one might find it difficult to stop. Some of the negative consequences of sex addiction might include sexually transmitted infections, family problems, financial problems, unwanted pregnancies and divorce (Dhir, Chen & Nieminen, 2015).
- Porn addiction – this is when a person becomes too much obsessed with pornography that he or she is unable to stop. Porn addiction is also associated with negative consequences such as relationship problems.
- Eating disorders – this involve destructive eating behaviors that could lead to negative consequences. Some of these behaviors might include refusing to eat or eating too much and initiating vomiting, and these could lead to conditions such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa.
- Gambling addiction – some people might engage in compulsive gambling behaviors that they might find difficult to stop. Gambling addiction could lead to a person losing income, savings and valuable items.
- Exercise addiction – this occurs when a person engages in too much exercise that it becomes problematic. Compulsive exercise could result in excessive weight loss and neglect of other duties.
- Gaming addiction – this is when one’s video gaming become compulsive that they are unable to do other activities like going to work or sleeping.
All these addiction disorders negatively impact public health as they interfere with the ability of individuals to maintain and achieve good heal physically, socially, emotionally and psychologically. In addition, they make it impossible for individual to live a normal life and achieve their full potential. As a public health concern, behavioral health disorders must be addressed using the public health approach by engaging the public in creating awareness about the disorders, their harmful effects and ways of addressing them. To address these disorders, several interventions might be used, including treatment plan, family support, detox support, or a combination of all of them (Selak, Bajt & Vinko, 2018). The society has to be actively involved in developing and implementing these interventions.