A Message from Our President
Angela J. DeJulius, MD, MPH
As we head into 2023 – the fourth year since Covid-19 upended our lives - public health continues to be in jeopardy. In Ohio and other states, various legislation is pending that would erode the authority of local or state health departments to do their work. This is happening while the very real threat of climate change promises to bring us new challenges including worsening
natural disasters, emerging communicable diseases, and global food insecurity. Rather than feeling helpless in the face of these big issues, OPHA asks you, our members, to start small and act locally. Build partnerships and develop allies where you can. OPHA has resources, such as our Health Equity in All Policies analysis tool (see article, below) to help you get started.
It’s discouraging to encounter opposition to our work; it’s frustrating to feel misunderstood by our communities and lawmakers; it’s understandable that we are experiencing burnout. It can be overwhelming, but each of us can make a difference wherever we find a fit that matches our interests, our passion, and our skill set. One of OPHA’s priorities is to help develop the public health workforce by assisting students and young professionals to do just that – to find their fit in our very diverse field. We look to you, our members, to help us as we develop opportunities for mentoring relationships, internship or practicum projects, and discussion webinars. We know you have much to offer; please contact us at email@example.com if you’re interested in contributing to our student programs!
If your workplace has roles to fill that require more seasoned public health professionals, take a minute to check out OPHA’s Public Health Professionals Program. The PHPS connects local health departments and other agencies with experienced, available individuals for short term or interim assignments, or even special projects. If you’d like to learn more about PHPS, or perhaps sign up as a contractor, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally… mark your calendars now for the 2023 Public Health Combined Conference, Celebrating Public Health: People and Purpose, which will be held April 24-26 at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Columbus. Watch this space for more details!
Ohio Journal of Public Health: Spotlight on Ohio-based Research
Examining Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Ohio Youth with Oppressed Identities Using the 2019 Ohio Youth Risk Behavior Survey
Austin G. Starkey, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University,
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 10 to 14 years and third for those aged 15 to 24 years in the United States and in Ohio. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors disparately affect youth with oppressed identities, including those with oppressed racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual minority identities. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between self-reports of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among Ohio youth with oppressed identities. This research, conducted by Austin G. Starkey of the Ohio State University, also examines relationships through the context of intersectionality.
Mr. Starkey concluded that suicidal thoughts and behaviors disparately affect youth with these oppressed identities. He noted that the findings suggest further examination of these youth nationally may influence public health suicide prevention strategies. Further, he stated that the implications also suggest that researchers, practitioners, and organizations across the spectrum of youth suicide prevention in Ohio should understand the increased risk that youth with multiple, intersectional oppressed identities face for suicide. Read the article here.