The Links, Incorporated established the Health and Human Services (HHS) facet in response to the chronic health disparities that persist in black communities and result in the decreased life expectancy of African Americans and other people of African ancestry. The goal of HHS is to promote and facilitate programs that support the maintenance of good health and the elimination of chronic health disparities in communities of color through education, health advocacy, and optimal utilization of health resources. Community education about health risks is crucial and The Links, Incorporated plays a significant role in providing it. The Links, Incorporated includes several initiatives including:
Since 2015, The Links, Incorporated and the American Cancer Society have worked together to address cancer disparities and drive health equity in all communities touched by cancer. Through the Health Equity Ambassador program,we seek to eradicate inequities and reduce cancer screening disparities through community outreach and education. Ambassadors receive training and ongoing support to effectively provide outreach and education related to breast and colorectal cancer prevention and early detection. The work of ambassadors aligns with evidence-based strategies to increase breast and colorectal cancer screening rates by providing one-on-one and/or group education.
The Harbor Lites Chapter has aligned with several National initiatives and proudly highlights our participation with the following:
Gift of Hope/Linkages to Life
The Harbor Lites Chapter has had an ongoing partnership with the local Gift of Hope /Linkages to Life and the Organ and Tissue Donor Network for over ten years. Members of the Harbor Lites Chapter have undergone training to become Gift of Hope Ambassadors in order to facilitate informational sessions and organ donation drives throughout the Lake County area.
National Mental Health Initiative
The goal of the National Mental Health Initiative is to educate Links members about depression, anxiety, and social issues that impact our physical and mental health so that our members can take this knowledge into our communities.The Harbor Lites Chapter initiative on mental health aimed to provide public service announcements (PSA) to the community on the importance of acknowledging and identifying mental health issues in the African American community. Our chapter presented a series of Mental Health vignettes titled “Mental Health Matters”. The short videographies highlighted how mental illness in various forms affects our community and provided positive mental health strategies to aid individuals and families with management of daily stressors. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. The Harbor Lites Chapter is committed to continuing to address this emergent issue within the African American community and eliminating the stigma of mental illness.