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Tufts Public Health » Mental Health

Gun Violence, a Public Health Issue?

In the wake of another deadly school shooting, the question of gun violence as a public health issue has yet again been proposed. However, unlike most major public health questions, there is a severe deficiency in evidence supporting either side of the political rhetoric on gun control. The origin of this knowledge gap is often accredited to a 1996 congressional amendment. Commonly referred to as the “Dickey Amendment,” named after the Arkansas House Representative that championed it, Jay Dickey, the amendment prohibits the CDC from promoting or advocating gun control through its research. While the amendment doesn’t explicitly ban research on gun violence, it has served as a means of controlling the priorities of the CDC, similar to the CDC budget document censorship. A 2017 article in JAMA concluded that gun … Read entire article »

Filed under: Injuries, Mental Health, Violence

Supporting refugees: A public health perspective

“Some bullets came to my house and went through the window,” said Murhaf, who fled Syria with his family two years ago and came to the United States, in an interview with Kaiser Health News (KHN). “I was afraid for the safety of my kids. They never sleep.” Murfah and his family fled their homeland to escape war. Other people have struggled in similar situations over time, and the international community has gathered before to discuss the needs and rights of people oppressed in their homeland. Following widespread displacement of populations during the First and Second World War, the United Nations held a conference in Geneva. This 1951 Convention defines a refugee as someone who, due to “well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Disparities, Immigration, Mental Health, Refugees, Violence

The health needs of caregivers and recipients

The health needs of caregivers and recipients

The U.S. is expected to experience a growing demand for caregivers, who include home health aides, personal care attendants, and family members, to support older people and people with disabilities. The number of individuals over age sixty-five, many of whom will need care at some point in their lives, is expected to grow from 15% of the U.S. population in 2014 to 22% in 2060. As the older population copes with the cost of care, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Mental Health, Older Adults, Racism

This prescription is a walk in the park

This prescription is a walk in the park

The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday this year with events across the country. Whether you honor the centennial by going to the Grand Canyon or to your neighborhood playground, getting outside is healthy. Green space for exercise can help your heart and lower your blood pressure.  Just sitting outdoors can improve your mental health. Less than half of U.S. adults meet recommended guidelines for daily exercise, and nearly 1 in 13 people over … Read entire article »

Filed under: Exercise, Mental Health, Prevention