The Links, Incorporated established the HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (HHS) facet in response to the chronic health disparities that persist in our communities and result in the decreased life expectancy of African-Americans. The Buckhead/Cascade City Chapter HHS Facet is working to Build Sustainable Futures for Women and Children of African Descent by partnering with Jerusalem House and Solomon’s Temple.
The goal of HHS is to promote and facilitate programs that support the maintenance of good health and the elimination of chronic health disparities in communities of color through education, health advocacy, and optimal utilization of health resources. Community education about health risks is crucial and The Links, Incorporated plays a significant role in providing it.
Mental Wellness Program recognizes the extreme importance of managing one’s mental health and provides adult residents at Jerusalem House and Solomon’s Temple with safe spaces in which to discuss effective life skills for managing personal stress and resolving conflict among fellow residents, co-workers and third parties encountered in their daily lives. Throughout the year, the HHS Facet sponsors workshops for the residents facilitated by mental health professionals and life coaches. Topics include anxiety, depression, conflict resolution, loneliness.
#MyWordsMatter Program engages middle school and high school students in timely dialogue about matters of race, implicit bias, stereotypes, interactions with law enforcement and the legal system. The youth are encouraged to openly discuss their experiences and understanding related to race and the legal system. Young people benefit from talking openly with fellow students and adults from diverse backgrounds about their positive and negative experiences. Their discussions are led by Links, legal professionals and other community volunteers trained to facilitate the students collectively acquiring a better understanding of the role race plays in our society, and how broadening their exposure and perspectives as young people will lead to better communication and healthier interactions as they continue their education and prepare for adulthood.
Oral Health Program educates children and their families on how to maintain good oral health and prevent dental disease. The HHS Facet is working to address the fact that tooth decay is the single most common, chronic disease afflicting children. More than 52 million school hours are lost each year due to children’s oral health-related problems. National awareness of the importance of oral health has been brought to the forefront with the U.S. Surgeon General’s report on health disparities, which cited “epidemic” levels among poor, rural and minority children. The Maternal and Child Health Bureau states that dental care in children with special needs, sometimes can take a back seat to other medical issues.