Health Department says focus on behavioral health and more will continue

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On Tuesday of this week, the Vermilion County Health Department hosted a “Community Assessment Stakeholder Meeting” at the DACC Bremer Center. Public Health Administrator Douglas Toole said it was a large crowd.


AUDIO: So we had about four dozen people, quite a broad spectrum. We had elected officials, law enforcement and education; and local businesses and many service agencies; and great representation from our two health care provider systems, Carle and OSF, there.

So, in looking at plans for the next three years, a community need that was already growing strong before the pandemic and has certainly remained strong since it began was consistently brought up, and this was revealed in a survey of Vermilion County residents. These would be behavioral health care and services; as well as problems that often coexist with them.

AUDIO: Mental health was important, obesity and viruses. In terms of unhealthy behaviors that concerned them, the main ones were illegal drug abuse, alcohol abuse, unhealthy diet, violence, lack of exercise, smoking. And “what would have a big impact?” “: safer neighborhoods, less violence and access to health care.

If anyone would like to get involved in one of the special community volunteer working groups on various topics, such as mental health and addictions issues, violence prevention, income and poverty, and a new one that will be added regarding healthy behaviors; contact the Vermilion County Health Department at 217-431-2662, and they’ll put you in touch with committee leaders.

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