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Mental health, substance abuse remain top concerns

The 2018 Community Health Assessment is now available to the public, and it highlights the process the county undertook to determine health priorities and new focus areas for the next three years.

A community health assessment, which is a process that results in a public report, describes the current health indicators and status of the community, what has changed and what still needs to change to reach a community’s desired health outcomes.

Since priorities from the 2015 Community Health Assessment were still affecting the community, stakeholders chose to continue them for the 2018 CHA. At the CHA Community Forum in February 2019, participants selected focus areas within each priority to address during the next cycle.

The 2019-2021 health priorities with focus areas are:

  • Mental health—access to care, youth considering suicide and adverse childhood experiences
  • Substance abuse—use of opioids, youth using e-vape products
  • Physical activity and nutrition—food insecurity, physical activity
  • Safe and affordable house—total cost-burden, rental spending.

The community is invited to participate on action teams related to one or more of the priorities. These action teams will have a positive impact on priorities at the county level. Residents interested in joining an action team should contact Community Health Improvement Director Stacy Taylor at 828-694-6063.

Henderson County is part of a larger community health assessment and improvement effort taking place in the region called WNC Healthy Impact. This is a partnership and coordinated process between public health agencies, hospitals and key regional partners in Western North Carolina. This regional effort is supported financially by all the hospitals in the region and is housed and coordinated by WNC Health Network.

“We’re grateful that support for this community health assessment work is provided by Advent Health Hendersonville and Pardee UNC Healthcare in Henderson County and by other hospitals in Western North Carolina,” said Taylor. “We also appreciate the support from the Board of Health and Partnership for Health.”

The CHA report is available online at www.hendersoncountync.gov/health/page/community-data. Residents may also view the report at the main library and all branches.