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Community Health Needs Assessment & Health Improvement Plan

As public health we participate in a community health needs assessment every five years. From the assessment health needs of Harrison County are identified. Goals, objectives and strategies are created to improve the well-being of the community.

Our 2016 assessment included an online and paper-and-pencil survey completed by 359 Harrison County residents and using a set of health statistics and reports that describe the demographics and economics of our county.

The combined survey and statistical information showed the top four health priority areas are obesity, child abuse and neglect, mental health and substance abuse.

The following two strategies are central to our efforts to improve our county’s health:

  • Conducting awareness, education and prevention campaigns; and
  • Bringing together Harrison County's organizations, groups and interested individuals to work collaboratively.

Our campaigns and community collaboration are focused on tackling the underlying health risk factors contributing to each of the four problems.    

Most of us when asked to name common risk factors for health can easily come up with things like smoking, a poor diet or overeating, lack of exercise and drinking excessively. However, in recent years the question has shifted to “WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR THE RISK FACTORS?”

Public health has increasingly come to recognize the importance of ACEs or Adverse Childhood Experiences as primary health risk factors, and how understanding, preventing and overcoming ACEs is critical to achieving lifelong health.


What ACEs are, how they relate to lifelong health, how understanding ACEs can be a tool for better health and the importance of community engagement is covered in the following 5 minute ACEs primer from KPJR Films:


Although ACEs are a root cause in our nation’s most prominent health and social problems, they are not our destiny. ACEs can be prevented. And healing can be undertaken throughout our life.
 


Two community-based organizations, Healthy Harrison Coalition (HHC) and the Harrison County Community Response Team (CRT) provide the focus for bringing together organizations and groups – health, voluntary/civic, business, faith, law enforcement, education, government, human service, media, philanthropic, and interested individuals to work collaboratively on the health needs of Harrison County residents.

The Healthy Harrison Coalition was formed in 2013 specifically in response to the Harrison County 2011 Community Health Needs Assessment which identified childhood obesity and child abuse and neglect as the top two health problem areas.

The 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment showed improvements in obesity and child abuse and neglect. However, the assessment also showed the need to continue work in these two areas, and the need to go to work on two additional areas – mental health and substance abuse.

The Harrison County Community Response Team, formed in 2013, is working to provide a coordinated response of community resources to assist individuals and families in adverse situations like those involved in ACEs. The CRT offers support and education throughout our community to aid in prevention and recognition of violence and abuse.


Learn more about the Healthy Harrison Coalition (HHC) and Community Response Team (CRT) on Facebook.

 

HEATLH HARRISON COALTION ON FACEBOOK

 

COMMUNITY RESPONSE TEAM ON FACEBOOK

 


Protective factors are strengths and supports that help prevent ACEs from happening and help children and families get through negative life experiences by learning tools for adapting well to the toxic stress that comes with adversity, trauma, tragedy and threats. These three protective factors are particularly effective:

  • Parenting Competencies (e.g., knowledge of positive parenting practices);
  • Presence of a Caring Adult (e.g., at home or in school, in youth groups); and
  • Social Support (e.g., presence of positive peers for children and parents).  

Healing steps are practices we can learn and do at all stages of adulthood to help us consciously cope with and even heal and recover from long-term emotional (anxiety, depression), behavioral (lifestyle, sleep) and physical (chronic pain) effects of ACEs. Healing steps can be sought out or practiced on our own or within the workplace or in other organizational settings such as clinics. In addition, communities and legislative bodies can undertake efforts to promote and support the availability of healing steps for residents and constituents.

  • Individual (e.g., mindfulness instruction, stress management techniques)
  • Organizational (e.g., workplace wellness, clinical ACEs/resilience assessment)
  • Community (e.g., awareness and education campaigns)
  • Legislative (e.g., funding ACEs prevention)

Awareness, education and prevention learning opportunities and information featuring protective factors for families and children and healing steps for adults of all ages that currently are, or will be offered, in Harrison or surrounding counties in the months to come can be found in the following links.

            Protective Factors                          Healing Steps

 

 

 

 



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