It is no secret that every community faces many challenges when it comes to healthcare. According to the World Health Organization, nearly half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health services. Inadequate healthcare can lead to several problems, including poor mental and physical health, reduced productivity, and increased mortality rates.
While the government works on a solution, what can be done in the meantime to ensure that everyone has access to essential health services? The answer lies in community health centers and other nonprofit organizations.
So, what are some health services that every community needs? Here are a few examples:
As its name suggests, primary care is the first level of care people receive when they have a health concern. This type of care usually comes from general practitioners, family medicine doctors, or pediatricians.
Community health centers are an excellent option for primary care. They offer a sliding scale for payment, which means that people can pay what they can afford based on their income. This strategy makes healthcare accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial situation.
With primary care, people can receive treatment for common illnesses, get vaccinations, and develop a relationship with a healthcare provider. These things are essential for maintaining good health and preventing more serious health problems.
Mental Health Services
One of the most important yet often overlooked when it comes to healthcare is mental health. These problems range from mild anxiety and depression to more severe conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Around 26% of adult Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental illness, yet only half of them receive treatment. It’s because mental health services are not always covered by insurance and partly because of the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Nonetheless, mental health services are essential for preventing health problems and helping people live happy and healthy lives. Today, many volunteer organizations offer counseling and therapy services for free or at a low cost. These organizations can be an excellent resource for people who need mental health services but can’t afford them.
Substance Abuse Treatment
With over 23 million people struggling with addiction, substance abuse is a significant problem in the United States. Alcohol and drugs not only ruin lives but also put a strain on the healthcare system.
People suffering from addiction often need professional help to get sober and stay that way. However, treatment can be expensive, and most health insurance plans don’t cover it.
This part is where community volunteers come in. These professionals offer services for substance abuse treatment, making it more available for people who need it. They also provide counseling and support to help people stay sober.
With adequate treatment, people struggling with addiction can get their lives back on track and become productive members of society.
Oral Health Care
The mouth is the gateway to good health, yet many people don’t receive proper oral care. This problem is especially prevalent among low-income families and marginalized communities.
There are several reasons why dental care services are essential. For one, it can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. It can also help people eat and speak correctly. Good oral health is also linked to overall physical health.
When people don’t have access to dental care, they’re more likely to experience problems like tooth decay and gum disease. These problems can lead to pain, infection, and even tooth loss.
That’s why many communities can benefit when dental care services are made available. These services can help people keep their oral health in check and improve their quality of life.
Chronic Disease Management
Heart disease, stroke, and diabetes are among the leading causes of death in the United States. These chronic conditions are also costly to treat and often require ongoing care.
People with chronic diseases need access to healthcare services that can help them manage their condition. However, hospitals offering chronic disease management programs can be few and far between. This problem is especially prevalent in rural communities.
People with chronic diseases must see a doctor regularly and take medication as prescribed. They must also make lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy and exercising. With the right support, people with chronic diseases can manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.
These are only some health services that every community needs. By working together, communities can ensure that everyone has access to basic healthcare and can live happy and healthy lives. So, what are you waiting for? Start working on your community health project today. Who knows, you might just save a life.