This article discusses the relationship between stress, physical health, and well-being in cultural context, offers examples of laws, policies, and programs to promote mental health and well-being, and examines how collective impact supports mental health and well-being.
Since its inception in September 2010, the Network for Public Health Law has responded to hundreds of public health legal technical assistance claims from around the country. Based on a review of these data, a series of major trends in public health practice and the law are analyzed, including issues concerning: the Affordable Care Act, tobacco control, emergency legal preparedness, health information privacy, food policy, vaccination, drug overdose prevention, sports injury law, public health accreditation, and maternal breastfeeding. These and other (...) emerging themes in public health law demonstrate the essential role of law and practice in advancing the public's health. (shrink)
Public health law research reveals significant complexities underlying the use of law as an effective tool to improve health outcomes across populations. The challenges of applying public health law in practice are no easier. Attorneys, public health officials, and diverse partners in the public and private sectors collaborate on the front lines to forge pathways to advance population health through law. Meeting this objective amidst competing interests requires strong practice skills to shift through sensitive and sometimes urgent calls for action (...) to address known threats to the health of individuals and the community. It also necessitates objective, timely information and national and regional legal support. (shrink)
Suicide is a public health problem which will require an integrated cross-sector approach to help reduce prevalence rates. One strategy is to include the legal system in a more integrated way with suicide prevention efforts. Caine explored a public health approach to suicide prevention, depicting risk factors across the socio-ecological model. The purpose of this paper is to examine laws that impact suicide prevention at the individual, relational, community, and societal levels. These levels are fluid, and some interventions will fall (...) between two, such as a community-level approach to training that enhances provider-patient relationships. At the individual level, we will review laws to improve screening requirements across systems. At the relational level, we note interventions with couples having conflict, such as protection orders and access to attorney consultations, which have been known to be injury prevention mechanisms. At the community level, we discuss legislation that recommends suicide prevention efforts for key individuals working as frontline providers in the medical and educational systems. At the societal level, we explore public awareness campaigns that target stigma reduction for those suffering from mental health burden and enhance linkage to care. The article closes with the discussion that laws are good, but their implementation is essential. (shrink)
Since its inception in 2010, the Network for Public Health Law has aligned with federal, state, tribal, and local public health practitioners to assess how law can promote and protect the public’s health. In 2013, Network authors illustrated major trends in public health laws and policies emanating from an internal assessment of thousands of requests for technical assistance nationally. More recently, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has invited the Network and other partners to consider new ideas and strategies toward building (...) a “culture of health.” Per Figure 1, RWJF’s conception of a culture of health emphasizes key action areas essential to the promotion of health across all sectors and diverse populations. (shrink)
The power to change the natural environment has received relatively little attention in public health law, yet is a core concern within environmental and agricultural law. Examples from environmental and agricultural law may inform efforts to change the natural environment in order to reduce the health impacts of climate change. Public health lawyers who attend to the natural environment may succeed in elevating health concerns within the environmental and agricultural law spheres, while gaining new tools for their public health law (...) toolbox. (shrink)
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is an urgent priority. While few would argue that action to mitigate the causes of climate change should be led by public health practitioners, public health has a critical role in adaptation efforts. Adaptation seeks to lessen human vulnerability to extreme weather and to increased variability in temperature and precipitation. Climate change as an emerging health issue provides a test case for new approaches to public health: approaches that emphasize both collaboration with other government and private (...) entities and application of innovative legal strategies. (shrink)