In February 2016, the Long Island Health Collaborative hosted two Community-Based Organization Summits, bringing together representatives from over 100 organizations, to discuss community health needs in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
During these summits, we facilitated and recorded discussions, and analyzed answers to gather more information about health in our communities. In both summits, where all health topics were up for discussion, mental health arose as one of the top concerns for organizations serving Long Island residents.
Mental Health in Suffolk County
In Suffolk County, 29.9% of discussion quotes were related to mental health. To get even more specific, each quote was also assigned to a focus area, or a specific area of mental health.
- 18.1% of quotes pertained the mental health issues in general
- 11.3% of quotes were about substance abuse
Some organization representatives expressed concern about the lack of services.
“. . . The major issue is the long waiting list and by the time that their appointment comes up they're no longer with us and they fall through the cracks. We don't know where they’re going. We don't know if someone is going to follow up so that's part of, you know that lack of prevention as well. It's a long waiting list just to get psych evaluations.”
- Community Housing Innovations
Mental Health in Nassau County
During the Nassau County summit, mental health was mentioned in 23% of quotes. Participants identified the following main focus areas during discussion:
- 16.4% of quotes were about mental health issues
- 6.9% of quotes were about substance abuse
Participants discussed the influence of social determinants of health as well as lack of access to treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues.
“It all falls together. When you have people who are in poverty they are not eating well; when you have people in poverty they tend to be depressed and have mental disorders, which very often leads to alcohol or substance abuse, heroin, which is a huge problem in this area. It's all interwoven I am trying to say.”
- Catholic Home Care
To learn more about how these summits were conducted, read our Community-Based Organization Summit information available online.