Safe and Healthy Me
When Molly, a 42-year-old Anchorage woman, sat in front of the camera to tell her story, she talked about the news that changed everything for her. Several years ago, she learned she had type 2 diabetes. She also struggled with obesity. Then she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
But Molly took steps to improve her health and feel better. She walked more and ate healthy foods, which led to her losing weight. She went on bike rides with her daughter. She surrounded herself with positive friends and made sure to spend time on hobbies that made her feel good.
“I feel like I am on track,” said Molly, who no longer has signs of cancer. “I feel like I am on my way to my goal.”
Molly is one of four people who shared the same type of message on a new campaign website for the Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: small changes can have big payoffs for your health and the quality of your life. The Section launched this new campaign, Safe and Healthy Me, in December to help Alaskans find engaging, state-specific information about ways to be safe and healthy. At the same time, the Section updated its main page.
The Safe and Healthy Me campaign followed the social marketing process to ensure that the campaign’s public education materials would reach the audience of Alaska adults and help motivate them to learn more about chronic diseases and take action to prevent and treat them. About two years ago, the Section staff prepared for the campaign by holding several focus groups in communities throughout the state to hear Alaska adults talk about the best things they’ve done for their health. Many of the best things shared were small changes that had big impacts.
These discussions across Alaska helped create Safe and Healthy Me, which integrates the many programs that fall within CDPHP, including Tobacco Prevention, Screening and Cancer Prevention, Obesity Prevention, Diabetes Prevention, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and Injury Prevention. Adults who have one chronic condition often struggle with other risk factors. For example, some people with cancer also struggle with obesity, or tobacco use. Safe and Healthy Me helps Alaskans understand that chronic diseases are inter-related and prevention or treatment in one area can have positive effects in other areas, too.
CDPHP has used social media, including the Department of Health and Social Services Facebook page and Google, to share its new materials with adults throughout Alaska. The focus groups showed that Alaskans wanted to hear from other Alaskans about the health changes they have made. The Safe and Healthy Me website features four video stories of Alaskans – including Molly – who faced multiple chronic conditions and took small steps that improved their health. To read their stories and view the videos, visit Safe and Healthy Me - Stories From Alaskans.
SHARE YOUR STORY!
CDPHP would like to hear from other Alaskans about the best things they have done to improve their health and safety. Share your story by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.