Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health recently published its Health of the City Report 2021, which takes a deep dive into the health outcomes, social and economic determinants of health, health behaviors, access to and quality of clinical care, and physical environment of the city. Amid many of the public health challenges youth face in the city of Philadelphia, I wanted to highlight what we can learn from this report and how it connects to our research here at PolicyLab.
In looking at infectious diseases across the city, the report shows chlamydia rates have continually declined, with the sharpest decreases occurring among teens and young adults. This is particularly welcome news to one research team at PolicyLab who has been working to improve chlamydia screenings in primary care settings here in Philadelphia as a way to expand access to treatment and reduce reinfections.
This report also covers suicide ideation in adolescents, noting that in 2019, more than 1 in 5 students seriously considered suicide, an increase over previous years. Recent PolicyLab research found that in the 2020-21 academic year, suicide rates more than doubled, likely coinciding with stressors due to the pandemic and omicron variant. A coinciding blog post from members of the research team addresses how our experts are working to combat this rising issue.
These are just a few important statistics the report covers; however, it also analyzes food accessibility, childhood asthma and more. Our PolicyLab experts continue to examine and explore ways to address these issues to improve the health and well-being of Philadelphia’s youth.
Alli Uhl is a former communications intern at PolicyLab and a recent graduate of The College of New Jersey, where she studied health & wellness communications and public health.
This post is part of our “____ in 200 Words” series. In this series, we tackle issues related to children’s health policy and explain and connect you to resources to help understand them further, all in 200 words. If you have any suggestions for a topic in this series, please send a note to PolicyLab’s Strategic Operations & Communications Director Lauren Walens.