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Bighorn Basin Concerned About Lack Of Area Mental Healthcare Services

Image: Martin Kraft (photo.martinkraft.com) License: CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The lack of mental health care services is the most important health problem impacting the Bighorn Basin region. That's according to a recent community survey conducted by health care organizations in the area. This is the first year Powell Valley Healthcare, Cody Regional Healthcare, Heritage health Center and Park County Public health are joining forces to complete the Community Health Needs Assessment.

It includes analyzing health care data and a community survey. Jim Cannon, the marketing and communications director at Powell Valley Healthcare, said one specific area came up as the most important health problem that impacts the region.

"So you had depression, anxiety, suicide and then you had behavioral health or lack of mental health providers so those terms came up a lot," said Cannon. "Of course I tracked them separately, but if you put all those together that's actually 30 percent of the respondents."

Cannon said the region also responded the cost of healthcare is too high.

"In our area people talk about low wages and trying to find affordable insurance and those kind of issues are impacting people as well," said Cannon.

It is the third time health care providers are required to complete the assessment under the 2010 Affordable Care Act in order to maintain their tax exempt status. The organizations will release a summary based on the assessment by the end of November.

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