Violence has far-reaching consequences for young people, families and neighborhoods, beyond serious physical injury and death. New fact sheets from Prevention Institute's Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth (UNITY) describe how violence affects other health problems and community concerns, such as chronic diseases, mental illness and poor learning. For example, children who are scared at school cannot focus on learning, and people are less likely to be active if the local park isn't safe. These fact sheets were designed to persuade educators and those in health, public health and mental health that violence can undermine the work of all sectors, and that everyone should include preventing violence in their efforts. Backed by the latest research, these fact sheets make the case that preventing violence is a key aspect of any vibrant community, one where young people enjoy every opportunity to learn, thrive and excel.
Use the research presented in the UNITY fact sheets to make the case to colleagues, partners and funders that violence affects other health problems and community concerns. The fact sheets are:
- Links Between Violence and Chronic Illness shares research that connects violence and fear of violence with a range of serious health problems, such as asthma, unhealthy eating, heart and lung disease, and others. Violence in the neighborhood shapes people’s behavior in ways that can undermine health. People are less likely to be active if the local park isn’t safe, for example, and those who witness violence are more likely to sleep poorly and smoke to cope with stress.
- Links Between Violence and Mental Health describes how violence causes emotional trauma on top of physical injury and death. Victims and those who witness violence are at higher risk for depression, suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Links Between Violence and Learning makes the connection between violence and poor learning and spotty attendance. Children who are scared at school cannot focus on learning, and violence discourages investment in schools. Violence disrupts the social networks that would otherwise interface with teachers and administrators to support quality education for all young people.
Given that violence has far-reaching effects across the health/public health, mental health and education sectors, these fact sheets reiterate the need for collaboration and for including preventing violence in efforts to improve health, mental health and educational outcomes. Download all three fact sheets.