Health and Wellness Issues For People of Color and Other underserved Groups
Health is a condition where disease and infirmity aren’t present. Different definitions have been applied to the term over the years. One such definition is that which maintains, “Health is wealth.” According to this view, the longer people live, the better they’re at life.
Some of the causes of illness and disease result from cultural and physical differences. These gaps in understanding can lead to unhealthy practices, attitudes, and behaviors. One example of this is what is called the “purity culture,” wherein certain cultures emphasize a clean and hygienic lifestyle, while other cultures downplay or even deny the importance of cleanliness. Wealthy people can have access to better health services than poorer people because of social and cultural differences, but these same wealthy people can still suffer from diseases brought on by inequities in physical health.
There are a number of factors that affect a person’s ability to fight off disease. Some of these factors are genetics. If your parents or grandparents had heart disease or certain other chronic conditions, there’s a good chance you can get them. Other factors can be the kind of jobs a person works in, the amount of exercise he or she gets, their general health, the kinds of foods they eat, their social status, and the environments they live in. Poor people who live in poverty-stricken areas are more likely to develop chronic conditions than those who live in better-off neighborhoods.
Poor health can also be caused by changes in lifestyle choices. People can choose to smoke, eat unhealthy food, lead sedentary lifestyles, skip or delay getting medical care, and engage in hazardous sports. These lifestyle choices can all affect their risk of developing a range of chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, lung disease, and communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
But mental health care is one area that’s been getting much attention lately. Millions of people of color and other underserved groups miss out on timely health care treatment because they don’t know where to turn for help. One in eight people in the United States doesn’t have access to quality, affordable health insurance. Many people face bankruptcy or eviction from their homes because they can’t pay their medical bills. Some struggle to pay their mortgages. And others can’t afford to make doctor’s appointments or purchase the medicine they need to stay healthy.
Mental wellness and physical wellness are interrelated. Poor health has a lot to do with why people struggle with illness and disease. If you want to lead a healthy lifestyle and improve your health, it’s important to address both the risks and the symptoms of illnesses and diseases. By taking a comprehensive approach to wellness, you can prevent the spread of disease and manage your health so that you feel better day to day. That’s the power of well-being.