Office of the Surgeon General Challenge

Equipping parents and community leaders with tools to measure emotional well-being levels in their communities.

Emotional well-being (EWB), defined as one’s ability to overcome adversity and/or reach one’s fullest potential, has been shown to increase cognitive function, immunity, and longevity; it has also been associated with higher graduation rates, productivity, and life satisfaction.

Investigators have found that EWB and other health-related behaviors can be monitored by examining patterns in sleep, social interactions, activity, keywords in search engines, and social media messages. Parents and community leaders need evidence-based tools providing information on community EWB in order to cultivate EWB at both the individual and community levels. The Office of the Surgeon General worked with mySidewalk to provide access to mySidewalk’s powerfully simple map templates, giving users a complete picture of EWB in their communities.

Impact of food access on well-being

The USDA defines a food desert as a census tract where more than 500 residents (or 33% of that tract's total population) struggle to access healthy food and 20% or more of residents live below the poverty line. This template reveals census tracts in your community that fit that criteria, helping you pinpoint potential food deserts.

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Overcrowding and low educational attainment

Overcrowding and lack of space at home has been linked to many factors that influence emotional well-being. This template can help you locate overcrowded areas so that you can direct resources to where they are most needed.

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Economic security and health for families with children

Focusing particularly on the emotional well-being, this template helps identify those areas that have a high concentration of economically insecure families with children.

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