On Tuesday of this week, the Vermilion County Health Department had a “Stakeholders Meeting for Community Assessment” at the DACC Bremer Center. Public Health Administrator Douglas Toole says, it was a substantial crowd.
AUDIO: So we had about four dozen folks, a pretty broad spectrum. We had elected officials, and law enforcement and education; and local businesses and a lot of service agencies; and a big representation from our two health care provider systems, Carle and OSF, there.
So in looking over plans for the next three years, one community need that was already getting stronger before the pandemic and certainly has remained strong since it began was constantly brought up, and it showed in a survey of Vermilion County residents. The would be Behavioral Health care and services; along with problems that often co-exist with them.
AUDIO: Mental health was a big one, obesity and viruses. When it came to unhealthy behaviors they were concerned about, top ones were illegal drug abuse, alcohol abuse, unhealthy eating, violence, lack of exercise, smoking. And “what would make a big impact?”: safer neighborhoods, less violence, and access to health care.
If anyone would like to get involved in any of the special community volunteer work groups looking into various topics, such as for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Issues, Violence Prevention, Income and Poverty, and a new one that will be added concerning Healthy Behaviors; contact the Vermilion County Health Department at 217-431-2662, and they will put you in touch with committee leaders.