One of the primary goals of Mental Health America of Central Virginia is to educate the public about the realities of mental health and mental illness. This includes understanding the social determinants of health and health literacy.
The social determinants of health are the conditions in which children, youth, and families are born, grow up, live and work, in additional to the health care infrastructure that serves them. Where you live can be a significant indicator of how well you live as well as how long you live. They can also explain why people become ill in the first place, as well as what it will take to restore their health. By addressing the root of an issue, rather than just the symptoms, we can work to improve society as a whole and improve population health overall.
Health literacy includes the ability to access, read, communicate, and comprehend basic health information in order to make appropriate health-related decisions. Low literacy can lead to inequalities to access information, services and care. According to the American Medical Association, poor health literacy is a stronger indicator of a person's health than age, income, employment status, educational level, and race. Our goals is to increase health literacy for everyone, to promote an overall healthier community for everyone.
In addition to the programs we offer that are directly related to mental illnesses, the MHACV staff present workshops and seminars on stress management, healthy relationships, stigma, body image, and many other mental health topics of interest to groups requesting them.