April is National Minority Health Month

Posted Tuesday April 26, 2022



April is National Minority Health Month. This is a very special time of year for the Health Gap.  It is a time to highlight the importance of improving the health of racial and ethnic minorities and reducing health disparities.

Every year, the Office of Minority Health (OMH), which is housed within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announces a theme to guide activities and programming. The theme for April 2022 is Give Your Community a Boost! This year’s theme focuses on the continued importance of COVID-19 vaccination and boosters. Vaccination is one of the strongest tools we have to end the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected communities of color.  This theme supplements the CDC recommendations to prevent COVID transmissions. These recommendations include physical distancing, use of well-fitting masks, adequate ventilation, and avoidance of crowded indoor spaces.

Here are some ways you can stay informed about COVID-19 here in the Greater Cincinnati area.

The Health Gap encourages you to visit our COVID-19 Community Resources Page.

This website is your one-stop resource guide for COVID-19 updates and vaccine Information in Cincinnati. It lists COVID-19 testing sites and vaccination sites. It also features an array of online programs, virtual events, and links to support services.

We invite you to share your COVID-19 Story.

We want to hear from you. Please send us a video telling us why you decided to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

We invite you to tune into our Virtual Town Halls.

These community forums feature a revolving panel of experts that include doctors, COVID-19 experts, local media personalities, community leaders, and community residents. Topics include the latest data on COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, and community support services. There is always time for questions and answers.

 

 

As we conclude the second year of the pandemic, it is important that we maintaining COVID-19 safety protocols.  However, it is also important to make sure we monitor our mental health.

The Health Gap recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives. Many of us are facing challenges that can be stressful, overwhelming, and cause strong emotions. Public health actions, such as social distancing, are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but they can make us feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety.

 

Learning to cope with stress in a healthy way will make you and your family more resilient.

 

Stress can cause the following symptoms:

  • Feelings of fear, anger, sadness, worry, numbness, or frustration
  • Changes in appetite, energy, desires, and interests
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares
  • Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of tobacco, alcohol, and other substances

 

You are not alone. It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is important to start a conversation with your health care provider, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above.

 

The Health Gap would also encourage you to participate in one of our free virtual community support groups. These groups are designed to help you manage Covid-19 related stress and anxiety. We offer both English and Spanish language groups. The sessions address topics such as:

  • Stress and anxiety from social distancing, wearing masks, fear of the illness
  • Coping with the loss of a loved one
  • Caregiver fatigue
  • Racial tensions
  • Recovering from COVID-19
  • Managing chronic illness

Lean more here DO RIGHT!® RELAX & RESTORE

 

Also, if you are interested in getting free health screenings, Covid-19 Vaccination, asking a doctor your questions, and learning more about your health join us at the 18th Annual Health Expo in Washington Park on April 30th from 10:00AM – 5:00 PM.

Learn more about the Health Expo here: www.WeMustSaveUs.com

 

While the pandemic itself may be stressful, the Health Gap doesn’t want the search for information to be overwhelming.  We are glad you are starting your search with us. To ensure you receive accurate COVID-19 information, we encourage you to visit these trustworthy websites:

 

National Library of Medicine | MedlinePlus:

https://medlineplus.gov/covid19coronavirusdisease2019.html

 

The Center for Closing the Health Gap

https://covid19communityresources.com/

 

U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) | Beware of COVID-19 Misinformation

https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/beware-fraudulent-coronavirus-tests-vaccines-and-treatments

 

FDA |Shopping for Food During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Information for Consumers

https://www.fda.gov/media/137009/download

 

Vaccines.gov | Find a COVID-19 vaccine near you

https://www.vaccines.gov/

 

The World Health Organization (WHO)

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/stress-coping/cope-with-stress/index.html

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