Part Four: Community and Public Health
The CDC Foundation defines public health as “the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities.” You will find public health professionals working to prevent the spread of illness within large populations of people or smaller segments of people as in a single community. Further, their work revolves primarily around prevention, but they also attempt to understand how disease spreads and the effects on populations. Community health is similar and when working within communities, community psychologists have similar goals. However, they take a different approach such as focusing on the eradicating the impact of health disparities because of socioeconomic, cultural and ethnic factors.
The three case stories in this section will provide those interested in public and community health an excellent lens in which to see this type of work being done by three community psychologists. The first story A Plan for Prevention: Measuring Equity from the Start , contributed by Dr. Tonya Roberson focuses on a community-based participatory research (CPAR) methodology to promote health equities for African American students at an HBCU.
The second story Working with Survivors of Gender-Based Violence authored by Dr. Dessie Clark and Joshua Brown, LCSW tackle the task of bringing awareness to gender-based violence and working with survivors of this prevailing social issue, particularly those who might be living with traumatic brain injury as a result.
The third story Journeying Past Hurt: Creating and Sustaining Trauma-Informed Healing Practices With Black Pregnant and Parenting Mothers contributed by Dr. Deidra Somerville who centers her work on individual, family, and community healing. The story provides an excellent narrative on how to incorporate the knowledge and experiences of Black pregnant and parenting mothers into training programs and curriculum designed to support family health and well-being.