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Local

Mental health ranked No. 1 community health issue in Jasper County

The Jasper County Health Department, in collaboration with MercyOne Newton Medical Center, recently completed a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) process, with subsequent Health Improvement Plan (HIP).

The CHNA-HIP process reviews the health of Jasper County residents by analyzing information from a variety of sources, including resident surveys, census information and health indicator information. This process is completed every three to five years by county public health agencies across the state of Iowa to determine the health issues that put residents at risk.

In the most recent assessment, citizens of Jasper County ranked mental health as the community’s No. 1 health issue. The mental health concern included access to appropriate diagnosis, treatment and aftercare. Substance abuse (in particular opioids, meth and marijuana) and homelessness were ranked second and third, respectively.

Other issues identified as affecting community health included obesity, availability of primary care and visiting health-care specialists, domestic violence, health-care transportation, child care services and senior living/care.

A full report of Jasper County’s assessment may be viewed by visiting MercyOne.org/newton and clicking on “2019 Needs Assessment.”

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