Public health students rallied on campus and in the community this week to celebrate National Public Health Week. We’ve captured some highlights below to showcase their work and commitment as future leaders in public health. Hear what students had to say in their own words:

Photo and submission courtesy Laura DelGuercio

Photo and submission courtesy Laura DelGuercio

West Chester University kicked off the celebration of National Public Health Week with our third annual night of professional development and networking: The Alumni Panel event hosted by the Master of Public Health Student Advisory Board. Each year various alumni from the MPH program are recruited to share their experiences in health and human services professions. This is a great opportunity for students to network as well as receive sound advice from practicing public health professionals. This year we were happy to host panelists from three MPH tracks — Community, Nutrition and Environmental — and a PhD candidate for epidemiology. Light refreshments were served along with door prize raffles. New this year was a “30-Second Elevator Pitch” mini-workshop for interested students to develop and practice their networking pitch. We also promoted our white board campaign and asked various students and faculty to share what they love about public health. Overall, this event was a huge success for all who attended!

Photo and submission courtesy Saron Selassie

Photo and submission courtesy Saron Selassie

UCLA Students of Color for Public Health hosted National Public Health Week: Public Health Awakened. Through the events of this week students illustrated the effects that the current political climate has on the health of communities we are from, study and work with. Each of our sessions was designed to provide historical context, incorporate knowledge from both community organizations and researchers in academia, and end with a better understanding of how to advocate for health equity and justice. Additionally, we advocated for students to engage in self-care and offered events to practice this throughout the week.

Photo courtesy Justin Sumner/University of Kentucky

Photo courtesy Justin Sumner/University of Kentucky

Dr. Chris Jones, director, Division of Science Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, joined University of Kentucky College of Public Health students via video to talk about the opioid epidemic. Dr. April Young, assistant professor of epidemiology, moderated the well-attended session. Other students connected via video links across campus.

University of New England hosted a webinar on public health advocacy tips to help public health students learn to use their voices to advocate for public health. University of New England’s public health program is online, so students from all over the country joined to learn how to stay informed about public health issues, contact their representatives, use social media and other methods of being an advocate in their local communities. We also discussed some digital tools, websites, apps and toolkits to help students get started with their advocacy work.

Photo and submission courtesy Jocelyn Resnick

Photo and submission courtesy Jocelyn Resnick

Thirty students gathered at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health for the first-ever “Addressing Mental Health Panel.” Panelists from the school — Dr. Eliot Sorel, Dr. Olga Acosta Price, Dr. Monique Turner, and Sarah Harte — discussed the global burden of mental illness and how public health professionals can address this epidemic. Themes of the panel included stigma, advocacy and communication. The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Panelists stressed that mental and physical health are interconnected, and that mental health is a core component of public health. Students must raise their voices and continue to practice mental health promotion!