Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services 2023 Community Health Needs Assessment released; mental health cited as top issue

Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services 2023 Community Health Needs Assessment released; mental health cited as top issue

For immediate release: Tuesday, January 30, 2024

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has released its 2023 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), which reports that mental health is the most important health issue for residents and stakeholders surveyed. CHNA details the health and socioeconomic needs, issues, and barriers of the community.

The report identifies key health needs and issues that will be used to develop the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).The full CHNA report can be found on Healthy Montgomery website.

The important health needs identified in the report are listed below in alphabetical order:

  • Get behavioral health and substance use services
  • Access to human service needs such as education, income, housing, employment, food, and personal social services
  • Access to parks, public spaces, health and recreation areas
  • Get quality dental health services
  • Access to quality primary care health services
  • Get professional and extended care
  • Get technology
  • Convenient transportation
  • Active living and a healthy and nutritious diet
  • cultural and language skills
  • environmental health
  • Health and Human Services System Navigation
  • Injury and disease prevention and management
  • Maternal and child health
  • pedestrian safety
  • Safe, violence-free environment
  • Social associations and community connections
  • waste management

“I appreciate this report, which helps us understand where we have made progress and where we can do more. The good news is that Montgomery County improved on a range of indicators compared to Maryland Healthier outcomes,” said County Administrator Marc Elrich. “The data also shows that we need to continue to focus on public health efforts to address issues in some areas. We have made access to mental health services a priority and will continue to focus on this and other important issues.”

Some of the findings gathered from residents and stakeholders informed CHNA:

  • Mental health is considered the most important overall health issue.
  • Residents say they lack mental health insurance and substance abuse benefits, as well as bilingual and culturally qualified mental health providers to meet the community’s needs.
  • Low crime rates and safe communities are the most important elements of a healthy community.
  • Residents said it was difficult to find providers to support gender-affirming care.
  • The entire community needs better access to family planning services and information.
  • Residents report that the high cost of medical and dental care is a barrier.
  • Transportation to doctors and dental offices is a barrier for residents, with many saying they have to take multiple buses to get to appointments or have someone give them a ride.
  • ZIP codes 20838, 20886, 20879, 20906, 20851, 20912, 20902, 20877 and 20903 have a higher percentage of uninsured people than the county average of 9%.
  • Residents say they don’t have enough money to buy healthy food.
  • Poor eating habits are affecting the health of society.
  • Diabetes, arthritis, obesity and heart disease are the most common health problems reported by residents.
  • Residents expressed a need for more linguistically and culturally appropriate information on how to seek help to access health and human services.

“CHNA in Montgomery County is community-developed and driven,” said Christopher Rogers, acting chief of public health services. “This CHNA describes health needs, issues and barriers from the perspectives of more than 2,500 county residents and stakeholders. By partnering with community leaders and residents, we can now turn this information into action and develop or strengthen programs designed to help support Programs and policies for greater access and more equitable health outcomes.”

Residents, community partners and stakeholders are invited to attend a virtual town hall on Wednesday, February 21 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. to learn more about the report’s findings. The town hall will provide an overview and introduction to CHNA. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions during the moderated session at the end of the presentation.

This activity is most relevant to stakeholders and community partners, who will refer to CHNA’s data and findings.

Pre-registration for the virtual town hall is required to receive login information.Sign up for a Zoom event here.

If you would like more information about CHNA, please email Christopher Rogers: [email protected].

Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services 2023 Community Health Needs Assessment released; mental health cited as top issue

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Version ID: 24-051

Media Contact: Mary Anderson 3015297669

Category: Health

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