- City Departments P-W
- Public Health & Community Services
- Topic of the Month
Health Topics of the Month
May Awareness Activities
Lupus Awareness Month
May is Lupus Awareness Month! It's a time for the lupus community to join together across the country to raise awareness of the physical, emotional and economic impact of lupus.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs). "Chronic" means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years.
Living with an invisible illness like lupus can be isolating, and sometimes lead to judgment from others who don’t exactly understand the daily struggles. Most symptoms of lupus aren’t always readily visible, but on the inside, it can wreak havoc on your body, organs, and even cause emotional and mental strain. Just because people can't see the pain, doesn't mean it's not there. Help bring visibility to lupus, even when it can’t be seen!
On average, it takes nearly 6 years for people with lupus to be diagnosed from the time they first notice their lupus symptoms. We need to change this. Getting an early diagnosis of lupus is critical to preventing long-term consequences of the disease. If someone is experiencing symptoms of lupus, they should contact their health care provider.
Take the pledge from the Lupus Foundation of America to continue raising awareness and make lupus visible year-round.
For more information, check out this Lupus fact sheet here.
Hepatitis Awareness Month
May is National Hepatitis Awareness Month, and May 19th is Hepatitis Testing Day. Although each type of viral hepatitis is caused by a different virus and is spread in different ways, they all affect the liver and can cause serious health problems. Throughout the month, public health partners shed light on the impact of Hepatitis by raising awareness and encouraging testing and vaccination. These activities are crucial to the health of a community as they help to improve everyone’s understanding of viral hepatitis transmission and risk factors, as well as decrease stigma against viral hepatitis.
Did you know?
- There are several different viruses that can cause hepatitis; the most common types of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
- Chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C are leading causes of liver cancer in the United States.
- Both hepatitis A and hepatitis B are preventable with safe and effective vaccines, and hepatitis C is curable with prescribed treatment.
- About 66% of people with hepatitis B are unaware of their infection and about 40% of people living with hepatitis C do not know they are infected.
- Getting tested is the only way to know if you have hepatitis A, hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
Know your status! The City of Nashua DPHCS provides testing, counseling, and treatment for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C (HCV) through our Sexual Wellness clinics. Our clinic schedule is as follows:
- Thursdays / 3 - 6 p.m. / Community Health Clinic, 18 Mulberry Street, Nashua / By Appointment: 603-589-4500, #2
- 2nd & 4th Friday of the Month / 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. / Laton House (28 Railroad Square, Nashua) / No Appointment Needed
- 1st Monday of the Month / 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. / ARC NH (180 Elm Street, Suite E, Milford) / No Appointment Needed
Learn the ABCs of viral hepatitis and what you can do to raise awareness of hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C from the CDC. Our 2020 Community Health Assessment also includes hepatitis data and trends in the Greater Nashua region.
- CDC, 2023
Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stressors of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. Many factors contribute to an individual’s mental health status, both biological and environmental.
While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health.
Mental health is essential. The Greater Nashua community recognizes the critical role mental health plays in our wellbeing and the importance of accepting and supporting individuals living with a mental health illness.
Local Mental Health Resources
- Mental Health Resource Card (English and Spanish)
- Community Connections Resource Guide: Mental Health Services
Start the Conversation
- Conversation Guide – Supporting a Loved One with Mental and/or Substance Use Disorders (PDF)
- Time to Talk – Tips for Talking About Your Mental Health
- How Respectful Dialogue Can Reduce Mental Health Stigma
High Blood Pressure Education Month
To take care of your heart, it’s important to know and track your blood pressure. Millions of Americans have high blood pressure, also called hypertension, but many don’t realize it or aren’t keeping it at a healthy level.
For most adults, healthy blood pressure is 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) or less. Blood pressure consistently above 130/80 millimeters of mercury increases your risk for heart disease, kidney disease, eye damage, dementia and stroke. Your doctor might recommend lowering your blood pressure if it’s between 120/80 and 130/80 and you have other risk factors for heart or blood vessel disease.
High blood pressure is often “silent,” meaning it doesn’t usually cause symptoms but can damage your body, especially your heart over time. While you can’t control everything that increases your risk for high blood pressure – it runs in families, often increases with age and varies by race and ethnicity – there are things you can do. Consider these tips from experts with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) The Heart Truth program:
1. Know Your Numbers. Everyone ages 3 and older should get their blood pressure checked by a health care provider at least once a year. Expert advice: 30 minutes before your test, don’t exercise, drink caffeine or smoke cigarettes. Right before, go to the bathroom. During the test, rest your arm on a table at the level of your heart and put your feet flat on the floor. Relax and don’t talk.
2. Eat Healthy. Follow a heart-healthy eating plan, such as NHLBI’s Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH). For example, use herbs for flavor instead of salt and add one fruit or vegetable to every meal.
3. Move More. Get at least 2 1/2 hours of physical activity each week to help lower and control blood pressure. To ensure you’re reducing your sitting throughout the day and getting active, try breaking your activity up. Do 10 minutes of exercise, three times a day or one 30-minute session on five separate days each week. Any amount of physical activity is better than none and all activity counts.
4. Aim for a Healthy Weight. If you’re overweight, losing just 3-5% of your weight can improve blood pressure. If you weigh 200 pounds, that’s a loss of 6-10 pounds. To lose weight, ask a friend or family member for help or to join a weight loss program with you. Social support can help keep you motivated.
5. Manage Stress. Stress can increase your blood pressure and make your body store more fat. Reduce stress with meditation, relaxing activities or support from a counselor or online group.
6. Have a Healthy Pregnancy. High blood pressure during pregnancy can harm the mother and baby. It also increases a woman’s risk of having high blood pressure later in life. Talk to your health care provider about high blood pressure. Ask if your blood pressure is normal and track it during and after pregnancy. If you’re planning to become pregnant, start monitoring it now.
7. Stop Smoking. The chemicals in tobacco smoke can harm your heart and blood vessels. Seek out resources, such as Quit Now NH, that offer free support and information.
8. Work with Your Doctor. Get help setting your target blood pressure. Write down your numbers every time you get your blood pressure checked. Ask if you should monitor your blood pressure from home. Take all prescribed medications as directed and keep up your healthy lifestyle. If seeing a doctor worries you, ask to have your blood pressure taken more than once during a visit to get an accurate reading.
To find more information about high blood pressure as well as resources for tracking your numbers, visit nhlbi.nih.gov/hypertension.