Future actions must be grounded in an understanding of the past and present. The Task Force decided that a thorough analysis of the current situation was needed before it could recommend actions. The Task Force examined exiting services, 2000 US Census data, data from 5 neighborhood surveys, information collected through two public forums and key informant interviews, and comments from two meetings of Arlin important agency personnel. The results of the analysis of this data can be found in the Task Force’s report called Arlin Mental Health Assessment, which is available at www.Arlin/mhtf/assessment.htm. Assessment results are summarized by the Key findings, needs, and capacities from the assessment report are summarized below.
Few people knew what mental health services existed or how to locate them.
All neighborhoods indicated that teen pregnancy and childhood nutrition was a problem.
Prevention and outpatient services have grown little, but the waiting lists show an increasing demand.
“Youth at risk for addictions and violence” was listed as a high priority by all neighborhoods.
Citizens need to be able to contact one “easy to remember” location (telephone number and Web site) and be linked to mental health promoting activities and services (highest need)
Neighborhoods need ways to promote and support the mental health of residents
All pregnant mothers need access to pre and postnatal care and screening
Young adults need recreational activities available to them in the evenings and on weekends
All children need to have adequate nutrition for the first five years of life
School age children need to know how to become and stay mentally healthy
Residents need ways to handle problems in living, e.g., unemployment, parenting, divorce, death
The aged need low cost support and mechanisms in order to remain in their homes
Children/youth need personal growth building experiences, e.g. hiking
Agencies, especially those providing self-help, prevention, family, & community services must evaluate their outcomes
Residents of the community are very involved (the greatest capacity on which to build solutions)
The community has a growing and successful business community committed to the community
Several very stable neighborhoods exist, some with homeowners associations
The area has a network of agencies and churches that influence the lives of many people
People value education and are willing to invest time and resources in their schools
The complete assessment is available from the Mayor's secretary at City Hall.