Assistant City Editor Robert Sanchez wrote for the Daily Herald that drug abuse and mental health problems rank as the two most important health concerns in DuPage County, according to a recent survey of residents.
The survey was conducted by Impact DuPage, a group of community organizations committed to creating a common understanding of local needs, gaps, and priorities that will advance the well-being of county residents. The poll of 1,577 people was conducted between February and April as part of Impact DuPage’s 2018 community assessment.
“Part of the whole process for Impact DuPage is to get the community voice,” said Karen Ayala, executive director of the DuPage Health Department and the co-chairwoman of the Impact DuPage steering committee. “We want the factors and priorities that are important to our residents so we can create a responsive framework.”
According to the survey results released Friday, the three most important health concerns in DuPage are drug abuse (44 percent), mental health (43 percent), and too much screen time/technology use (21 percent).
Survey respondents also listed the top three risky behaviors in DuPage to be drug abuse (58 percent), alcohol abuse (34 percent) and too much screen time/technology use (30 percent).
The fact that residents are concerned about drug abuse and mental health problems doesn’t surprise Ayala.
“There’s an increasing recognition — not only across DuPage County but across the country — that behavioral health issues impact and influence the health of a community,” Ayala said. “So I think it is something that we’re coming to grips with as a country.”
DuPage in recent years has been trying to combat the opioid crisis. In May, the county announced it is contributing $100,000 to kick-start two new projects. Read more