“National Public Health Week” celebrated at the Foundation!

Join the DFW Hospital Council (DFWHC) Foundation in celebrating National Public Health Week to become part of a growing movement to create the healthiest nation in one generation. The DFWHC Foundation is celebrating the power of prevention, advocating for healthy policies, sharing strategies for successful partnerships and championing a strong public health system.

During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association (APHA) brings together communities across the U.S. to observe National Public Health Week as a time to recognize public health and highlight issues important to improving the nation’s health.

For over 20 years, APHA has served as the organizer of National Public Health Week. Every year, the association develops a national campaign to educate the public, policymakers and practitioners about issues related to each year’s issues.

“National Public Health Week is a great way to focus on behavioral health in our community,” said Dr. Sushma Sharma, director of public and population health research at the DFWHC Foundation. “In so many way, mental health and opioid addiction are impacting the overall health of our country. About one in every five U.S. adults, more than 43 million people, experience mental illness in a given year. Mental illness is associated with billions of dollars in care and lost productivity each year.”

Coordinated by the DFWHC Foundation and Dr. Sharma, the North Texas Community Health Collaborative released a Behavioral Health Community Needs Assessment Report in February detailing 16 North Texas counties.

The 130-page study was the opening bell of a strategic goal of improving mental health services in the region over the next three years. The report outlines challenges for North Texas in tackling issues troubling the state such as patient access to mental health and substance misuse services; increasing the number of beds available in hospitals; and expanding the region’s mental health workforce.

“The opioid epidemic is at the forefront of today’s behavioral health concerns,” Dr. Sharma said. “It is killing thousands of Americans each year and overwhelming local law enforcement, public health and child protective systems. But with awareness from the report and National Public Health Week, hopefully we can begin to turn the tide.”

The report can be found here.

For detail on events held this week, please click here.