Maral Farsi is the Deputy Director of Legislative and Inter-Governmental Affairs for the State of California. Maral Farsi is extremely proud of the work members of Californian government performs daily in order to strengthen every Californian community. One of the administration’s biggest focus areas is near and dear to Farsi, which is improving the health of all Californians. The state has seen that by improving the health of the people, the economy reaps the benefits.
Studies have shown a bit of a chicken or the egg scenario when it comes to health and economic development. Do healthier people boost an economy or does a healthy economy boost the well-being of the citizens impacted? Maral Farsi believes there’s a synergy between the two. The best way for California to strengthen areas of the state with lower income levels is to ensure that they have access to health care—inclusive of physical, mental, and social wellbeing. Of course, Farsi understands that improving health goes well beyond having access to a good doctor.
As an example, exercise has demonstrated positive benefits for both physical and mental health, which is why federal and state programs support access to public parks. The more that can be done to increase the areas where people can get out and exercise, the more likely it is that people will not only increase their physical activity but enhance their community engagement as well. Arts and culture also offer mental and social benefits through engagement and interaction.
It’s easiest to understand the role a person’s health plays on the economy by looking at it from an individual level. A person who suffers from mental illness may be provided access to a job, but without the ability to access mental health treatment then the stability of that job is in question. If the state invests in a free community-college education, low-cost four-year colleges, and job training and apprenticeships for an individual, but that individual is struck by illness and cannot afford their medications, then that investment has been all for naught. California’s future depends keeping a comprehensive view of health care and access so all citizens can can live up to their highest potential in accessing the California dream.
Maral Farsi is proud of the efforts California Governor Gavin Newsom has made through his recent 2020-21 Budget to focus on the comprehensive view of the total state of wellbeing—with proposed investments in direct medical care, as well as workforce training, arts, recreation, and criminal justice. These investments allow Californians to add productivity to the state’s economy by giving them access to the personal well-being necessary.
With the fifth largest economy in the world, California is a state that all of America can admire. The state’s commitment to the health of all citizens is setting an example for how other states can improve the economic prowess of their state.