Encouraging children to eat fruits and vegetables in schools; helping college students understand the dangers of binge drinking; and promoting tobacco cessation are all aspects of community and behavioral health.
Community and behavioral health focuses on the lifestyle behaviors and aspects of our social environment that affect our health and looks for ways to encourage people to make healthy choices. Some of these ways include promoting walk-to-school programs to reduce childhood obesity and using text messaging to teach teenagers about sexuality.
Community and behavioral health also seeks to improve the public’s health through the application of social and behavioral sciences. Through studying behavior, community health specialists are able to modify the incidence, prevalence, and mortality rates of many diseases that affect the communities in which we live. Additionally, community health specialists promote more efficient uses of health services, adopt self-care practices, and participate actively in the design and implementation of health programs.
Public health issues addressed by Community and Behavioral Health include:
- Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV
- Maternal and Child Health
- Health Communication
- Tobacco Control and Prevention
- Injury control
- Mental Health
- Global Health
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse
- Cancer Prevention
As a Community and Behavioral Health Student you'll:
- Access and analyze data to access public health problems
- Conduct community-based participatory research
- Develop and plan programs and policies to address public health problems
- Develop evaluation methods to assess the efficiency of public health interventions
- Communicate findings to the public including the news, government officials, and key stakeholders
- Prevent illness and promote health in your community