4. Public Health

An abstract painting on canvas shows a range of light and dark colours swirled together.
Lost in Thought, 2022 Acrylic on canvas 24 × 18 inches
Artist: Sophia G Davidson

If you have turned on the TV, read the news, or scrolled through social media in recent years you have encountered a story about public health. The primary goal of public health is to support a population to be as healthy as possible, through the non-judgmental implementation of programs and interventions. Perhaps the most obvious public health story to dominate the news cycle in 2020 and beyond is that of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been reminded to sanitize our hands, wear masks, and keep our distance.

However, there is another epidemic ‚Äď that of drug overdoses ‚Äď that is occurring in communities across Canada. Although COVID-19 has received more national attention, both are pressing public health issues that impact our society, with unique ramifications for individuals experiencing homelessness. As you work through this chapter you are asked to think about the health of individuals experiencing homelessness on a population level and learn how public health measures are being implemented to improve their well-being.


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Understanding Homelessness in Canada Copyright © 2022 by Kristy Buccieri, James Davy, Cyndi Gilmer, and Nicole Whitmore is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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