From January – March 2019 Essex County Health Partners (this Health Dept and area hospitals) have been engaging with the community to learn about perceptions. Following is a summary of findings from each of 3 initiatives including a link to the full report for each:
COMMUNITY SURVEY FINDINGS (354 community member participants)
Survey respondents identified an inclusive definition of health – physical, mental & social well-being.
Respondents identified the top 5 health challenges [from a list of 19 offered as options] as: substance abuse, access to healthcare, chronic diseases, overweight/obesity and issues related to aging.
Features identified as necessary for a strong, healthy and vibrant community were also identified as challenges within the community: access to healthcare, employment/livable wages and affordable housing.
STAKEHOLDER SURVEY FINDINGS (129 targeted stakeholder participants)
Promote Well-Being and Prevent Mental and Substance Abuse Disorders was the NYSDOH Prevention Agenda priority area selected by community stakeholders. This directly matches 4 of the top 5 health concerns identified: Substance Abuse, Mental Health Concerns, Child/Adolescent Emotional Health & Adverse Childhood Experiences.
As would be expected, 4 of the top 5 contributing factors to the stakeholder identified priority area are nearly all related to the priority itself; those are Lack of Mental Health Services, Addiction to Illicit Drugs, Poverty, and Changing Family Structures.
Economic Stability was selected most frequently as a social determinant of health faring poorly in Essex County.
DISTRIBUTED FOCUS GROUP FINDINGS (49 targeted stakeholder participants)
Research question asked: If you could change 1 thing about your community to make it better what would it be?
Most frequently identified: Community Connections, Physical Activity, Transportation, Economics & Resiliency.
Your feedback on these preliminary findings is encouraged from now through September!