Bullying. Concussions. Opioid abuse. These are just a few of the topics family physicians discuss with their patients every day. While most family physicians feel comfortable talking about these subjects, patients may be less at ease, especially if they have experienced one of these issues first-hand.
To help patients prepare for these conversations, the AAFP is launching a national public service announcement (PSA) campaign on May 1. An important aspect of the campaign is to educate patients about pertinent public health issues, and to encourage them to visit familydoctor.org,(familydoctor.org) the Academy's patient-focused website, for more information.
The television and radio PSAs -- which will be available in both English and Spanish versions -- feature family physicians Veronica Anwuri, M.D.; Melinda Dunn, M.D.; Kathleen Eubanks-Meng, D.O.; and Jesus Lizarzaburu, M.D. Each PSA is approximately 30 seconds long and will be made available to chapters.
The AAFP will release a new PSA on the first of the month from May through November. Monthly topics will be
- May: mental and emotional health (e.g., bullying),
- July: back to school (e.g., influenza and personal hygiene),
- August: immunizations (e.g., shingles vaccine),
- September: sports and exercise (e.g., concussions),
- October: family health and safety (e.g., gun safety), and
- November: addiction and recovery (e.g., opioid abuse and safe medication storage).
Education and promotion are not the only goals of the campaign, however. Ultimately, it is important that patients, after viewing the PSAs, will gain a sense of empowerment over their own health. Increasing patients' knowledge of important health issues that affect them is intended to help them feel more prepared and willing to talk about them with their family physician.
Related AAFP News Coverage
Health Is Primary: Engaged Patients are Healthier Patients
Family Physician Says Patient Accountability Builds Engagement
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Familydoctor.org: Mental Health(familydoctor.org)