Highlighting Public Health in Appalachia
By: Marus J. Hopkins
July 4th, 2023
As part of the Appalachian Learning Initiative's continuing research, reporting, and advocacy work in #PublicHealth, APPLI (pronounced like "apply") will begin debuting its series of infographics focusing on county-level public health statistics in #Appalachia.
This means that we will be updating our data over the course of the next three months to reflect the most recent statistics available and adding new data to our research, including our most recent addition measuring Adult #Depression across Appalachia.
Adult Depression afflicts nearly 1 out of every 5 adults (18.4%) in the United States, with West Virginia (27.5%), Kentucky (25%), and Tennessee (24.4%) reporting the highest percentages of adults living with depression in the country.
Why Public Health?
We know that the Social Determinants of Health (#SDOH)—Economic Stability, Neighborhood & Physical Environment, Education, Food, Community & Social Context, and Healthcare Systems—can positively or negatively impact health outcomes, such as the incidence and prevalence of infectious diseases and the rates of overdose and disease mortality.
APPLI believes and works to illustrate that the SDOH do not only impact health outcomes, but that they are inextricably linked to one another:
When people have lower levels of educational attainment, they are more likely to have worse healthcare outcomes. Conversely, when people have higher rates of depression, obesity, and are more likely to suffer from both infectious diseases and #DiseasesOfDespair (e.g., alcohol dependency, substance misuse, and suicidal thoughts/behavior), they are less likely to have the ability to focus on educational attainment, both as children and as adults.
Starting this month, APPLI will begin developing and distributing infographics for the Appalachian Region, individual states, and local jurisdictions and distributing them across our website and social media channels. This will include updating our Public Health, state-level research pages, and Infographics Database to include more resources to download.
We are passionate about the work we do at #APPLIOrg, and hope that you will continue to share our resources with your friends, family, and networks.