Urban health: Four issues of concern.

Document Type

Journal Article

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This chapter is not meant to address the disenfranchised manner in which many residents are treated or receive services within urban communities. That information is provided in a multiplicity of public health research studies and reports. This chapter provides basic information on illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and sickle cell anemia, which are but a few of the most prevalent and chronic purveyors of physical, psychological, and social disabling effects among African Americans in urban communities. Along with the physiological impact of these diagnoses, mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety are frequently serious side effects resulting in increased disabling consequences. The first goal of this chapter is to provide awareness about the nature and prevalence of four of the most widespread disabling illnesses impacting members of the urban community through the provision of empirical data. The second goal is to provide information to social work clinicians to incorporate facts into the services they offer in an effort to educate individuals, families, and communities about these illnesses and their long-term effects, along with ways to help identify symptoms that are frequently overlooked, ignored, or denied by those most significantly impacted. The third goal is to offer social work clinicians practical ways to engage and empower community persons with help-seeking and positive problem-solving behaviors. These three goals will help empower individuals, families, and communities as they relate to increased health knowledge. Empowered individuals can become more proactive in the identification of familiar patterns of illnesses and their treatment as a way to decrease the debilitating consequences of minimally treated disorders within families.




Social Work