Women2Women - Spring 2018 - 40

Mental, Spiritual, Physical Health & Wellness

BIALASIEWICZ / 123RF

Health2Wellness

THE COMMUNITY HEALTH NEEDS ASSESSMENT:
Mental Health Services

CONTRIBUTORS: Jessica Bezler, Tower Health * Sara Frassinelli, GRCA * Emily Manwiller, Tower Health *
Monica Rush, Penn State Health St. Joseph * Ann Valuch, Tower Health * Laura Welliver, Penn State Health St. Joseph

C

ommunity health needs assessments
(CHNA) and implementation strategies
are newly required of tax-exempt hospitals
due to the Patient Protection and Affordable
Care Act. These assessments and strategies
create an important opportunity to improve
the health of communities. They ensure that
hospitals have the information they need
to provide community benefits that meet
the needs of their communities. They also
provide an opportunity to improve coordination of hospital community benefits with
other efforts to improve community health.
The Berks County community identified
40 Women2Women Spring 2018

these four local health care needs: access to
care; mental health services; obesity; and
chronic illness.
Nationally, the evidence base for the efficacy
of integrated behavioral and physical health
services for individuals with mental illness
continues to grow. Many individuals with
high mental health needs also have other
needs including physical health comorbidities
and social or environmental needs. To meet
the biopsychosocial needs of individuals with
mental health issues, collaboration within and
across systems continues to be an important

approach as we focus on this topic as part
of our community health needs assessment.
In Berks County, 20 percent of residents
experience anxiety or depression, and suicidal
ideation is a top health concern. Some people
don't seek treatment because they worry there
is a stigma attached to mental illness. Others
don't fully understand how individuals benefit
from therapy and treatment for behavioral
health conditions. As you can see from the
information to follow, Berks County has many
resources available to those in need of mental
health assistance.



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