The Mayo Clinic says people living with stress over the long term can face all kinds of problems, including anxiety, depression, digestive problems, headaches, muscle pain, heart disease (including heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke), sleep problems, weight gain, and problems with memory and focus.
And few things could be more stressful than worrying about whether you’ll have a roof over your head or if you can afford the home you do have.
That’s why we were glad to read News staff writer Mike Gonzalez’s recent report that Northeast Michigan’s public health agencies have joined a state effort, called Good Housing=Good Health, that aims to increase access to housing as a way to help keep people healthy.
Neither the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services nor Northeast Michigan’s District Health Departments No. 2 and No. 4 could provide any specifics on what, exactly, they’ll do to accomplish that goal, but the program will focus its efforts on helping older adults, low-income residents, people going through treatment for substance use disorder, and others. The program also aims to inspect households for lead, give access to cleaner water, and improve the weatherization of structures. Another objective is to provide information and resources for households to prevent loss of housing.
Housing is a major issue for our community (and others across the state and across the country), and we’re glad to see Michigan taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to the issue. Tackling housing as a public health issue is novel but interesting, and we think Good Housing=Good Health has the potential to help a lot of people.
Good housing does equal good health, and, as long as it doesn’t distract from DHHS’s and the local health departments’ primary goals of protecting public health, we support their initiative and wish them well.
(THE ALPENA NEWS)