-changing the world starts at home
To me, health is about more than physical wellness. It’s spiritual and emotional well-being and a sense of social belonging and purpose. These other facets of health are, in many ways, predecessors to good physical health. For people to achieve physical wellness, they must first value themselves. To develop habits that promote physical wellness requires time and effort that can only be fully applied by people who believe they are worth that commitment. That is why I am so excited to be a part of an organization like BHC that approaches improving my community’s health from all angles.
Building Healthy Communities is about promoting community engagement and youth education, improving access to healthcare and healthy foods, developing safer neighborhood environments, and fighting against the inequities that plague this area. It takes more than good doctors and big hospitals to generate health in a community.
South Sacramento is my home. There are many, like me, who have found that this city has provided them with all they’ve needed, but unfortunately, not everyone who lives here has the same opportunities available to them that I have had.
My younger brother and I went to different high schools, both in Sacramento, but had entirely different experiences. My high school had a retention rate of almost 100%, but my brother’s graduating class was nearly half of what it was when he entered high school. During the evenings, my brother and I like to go on runs to our neighborhood park. Should we have grown up just a few miles down the road, we might not feel safe running in the evenings, or even have a park in our neighborhood to run to.
Some of the smaller communities within Sacramento have significantly less than other communities, and few things contribute more to a person’s sense of self worth than does the message sent by their environment. For individuals to commit themselves to their own health, they must first know how, but then must have an environment that allows them to. This must happen at the community level. I believe that all people deserve the same opportunities to improve their own health and that neither zip code, ethnicity, nor pay grade should play a hand in determining those opportunities. I believe this to be true in all corners of the world