Dr. Laura Parajon, the Deputy Cabinet Secretary of Health for the New Mexico Department of Health, discusses a new CDC survey of more than 26,000 people working in public health that says public health workers are suffering; Robert Jennings, Executive...
Dr. Laura Parajon, the Deputy Cabinet Secretary of Health for the New Mexico Department of Health, discusses a new CDC survey of more than 26,000 people working in public health that says public health workers are suffering; Robert Jennings, Executive Director of the National Public Health Information Coalition, tells us about the 2022 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media starting on August 16th; Colorado and Maine participated in an ASTHO and CDC project to build capacity in state suicide and opioid overdose prevention programs; and ASTHO is hiring for several key positions.
CDC Webpage: Symptoms of Mental Health Conditions and Suicidal Ideation Among State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Public Health Workers — United States, March 14–25, 2022
NPHIC Webpage: 2022 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media
ASTHO Brief: Successes from the Suicide and Opioid Overdose Prevention Public Health Initiative
ASTHO Webpage: Careers at ASTHO
This is Public Health Review Morning Edition for Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022. I'm Robert Johnson.
Now, today's news from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
Public health workers are suffering and most don't think their employers have done enough to support them with increased mental health services. The results are part of a new CDC survey of more than 26,000 people working in public health. New Mexico deputy health secretary Dr. Laura Parajon is worried about the findings.
The thing that worries me is that it says the public health workers with more weekly hours and more time spent on COVID-19 response activities, those are the ones that were associated with a higher PTSD prevalence. That was concerning. And also, that most respondents didn't think that their employees increased mental health support during that time.
Parajon says the survey results are troubling, but she's hopeful they can be reversed.
I am cautiously optimistic that we can turn this around. I think we do have the leadership in place, you know, throughout the ASTHO networks in different departments of health across the country. I think many of us are really, really cognizant of this and trying to look at how can we do a trauma-informed workplace, and really recognize that we're all in different places and we need to build and strengthen a culture of resilience in order for us to improve retention.
Parajon says her department has created working groups to address employee needs, adding challenges can be overcome if agencies commit to the hard work ahead.
I think that, in the short term, we can do certain things that may not need money, just like we were able to put together those subgroups and start making small changes.
But I think the longer term changesis going to require policy changes of, you know, being able to be flexible in the workplace, being able to be trauma-informed, and build the resources to support our staff. And I don't think that that can be done overnight.
You can read the CDC survey using the link in the show notes.
Public health communicators will gather in Atlanta in two weeks. The 2022 National Conference on Health Communication marketing and media begins August 16th. The event is hosted by the CDC and the National Public Health Information Coalition.
Robert Jennings is the coalition's executive director.
I think the most important thing is you're gonna learn from each other. There'll be new research available, new studies, best practices, creative and innovative ideas; but getting together and learning from each other, learning from this experience that we've had over the last almost three years now, I think is probably the most important thing
You can sign up to attend in person or online using the link in the show notes.
Also this morning, Maine and Colorado are part of an ASTHO and CDC project to build capacity in state suicide and opioid overdose prevention programs. They were part of the pilot from September 2019 until this summer. You can read what they did in a new ASTHO brief, available now using the link in the show notes.
Finally today, ASTHO is hiring for several key positions. The organization is looking for a senior director of public health agency research and business intelligence, a graphic designer, and a director of contracts. Learn more about these jobs and others using the link in the show notes.
That'll do it for today's newscast. We're back tomorrow morning with more ASTHO news and information.
I'm Robert Johnson. You're listening to Public Health Review Morning Edition. Have a great day.