UNITY just released three fact sheets
on the links between violence and 1) chronic illness, 2) mental health, and 3) learning. They can make the case that violence undermines the efforts of multiple sectors and that preventing violence should be integrated into the work of these sectors. These tools are particularly relevant right now. With the release of Community Transformation Grants
last week, the UNITY fact sheets:
- Inform the inclusion of strategies to prevent violence in proposals. Your state and local health departments are making decisions about their proposals. We encourage you to work with your health departments to include preventing violence in these proposals, given that violence is a major determinant of multiple health outcomes.
- Provide data for inclusion in your proposals. If you are developing a proposal, these fact sheets provide useful data to support your argument for including strategies to prevent violence. (For guidance on which strategies to include, visit the UNITY website and/or take a look at the UNITY Policy Platform.)
Use the research presented in the UNITY fact sheets to make the case to colleagues, partners and funders that violence affects other health problems and community concerns. The fact sheets are:
- Links Between Violence and Chronic Illness shares research that connects violence and fear of violence with a range of serious health problems, such as asthma, unhealthy eating, heart and lung disease, and others. Violence in the neighborhood shapes people’s behavior in ways that can undermine health. People are less likely to be active if the local park isn’t safe, for example, and those who witness violence are more likely to sleep poorly and smoke to cope with stress.
- Links Between Violence and Mental Health describes how violence causes emotional trauma on top of physical injury and death. Victims and those who witness violence are at higher risk for depression, suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Links Between Violence and Learning makes the connection between violence and poor learning and spotty attendance. Children who are scared at school cannot focus on learning, and violence discourages investment in schools. Violence disrupts the social networks that would otherwise interface with teachers and administrators to support quality education for all young people.
Given that violence has far-reaching effects across the health/public health, mental health and education sectors, these fact sheets reiterate the need for collaboration and for including preventing violence in efforts to improve health, mental health and educational outcomes. Download all three fact sheets
at the Prevention Institute website.
UNITY is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the CDC's national youth violence prevention initiative, Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere (STRYVE), and in part by The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF). Created in 1992 as an independent, private foundation, TCWF’s mission is to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness, education and disease prevention programs. For more information, visit www.preventioninstitute.org/unity.
"Violence is not the problem of one neighborhood or group, and the response and solutions are not the responsibility of one sector of the community or of one agency, professional group, or business. Coming together and owning this problem and the solutions are central."
--Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, Harvard School of Public Health