mental health community conversations

Mental health, and the stigma that surrounds it, has been identified as a concern in our communities. In response to this identified needs, CHNA 20 developed (starting in 2015) a mental health anti-stigma initiative. The first phase of the project was based on the concept of DPH’s Community Conversations; small groups of 8-15 individuals invited to come together in a facilitated conversation to identify attitudes and beliefs about mental health.

From May to August 2016, CHNA 20 sponsored six diverse MH Community Conversation focus groups. Information gathered from these sessions along with other data gathered in our communities was synthesized into a formalized report and presented to our membership.  Findings from this project were used to guide the focus of the Behavioral Task Force including a grant program for local organizations to address identified community health needs in a multi-sector, collaborative fashion.

Outcomes:

  • Increased awareness of available resources, education of topics related to mental health, and opportunity to gather ideas about how to improve the issue of mental health stigma for our residents.
  • Deepened connections and links with local mental health support networks to align mental health goals and resources.
  • Qualitative and quantitative data gathered and analyzed, put in a report and presented to our membership at the Fall 2016 general meeting.
  • Aggregated local and statewide quantitative and hospital community assessment data to produce a summary of the current state of mental/behavioral health within the CHNA 20 service area.
  • A list of “best practices” that complemented data finding.
  • Summary data and finding results used in creation of a new community-based Behavioral Health Task Force.