Pima County Community Health Needs Assessment Priority
Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression refer to a broad umbrella of conditions that impact the mental and physical wellbeing of an individual. In Pima County, anxiety and depression were identified in the 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment as among the most significant health needs that should be considered priorities for the County. The underlying causes of these conditions stem from a combination of physical and environmental stressors and present a risk to some of Pima County’s most vulnerable community members. Specific populations identified as being particularly vulnerable to poor mental health outcomes in Pima County include: aging and elder individuals, resettled refugees, the large veteran population, and homeless individuals.
Anxiety and depression can range from mild to severe, and affect everyone, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, household incomes, or education level. In Pima County, the prevalence of depression within the Medicare population is 12.4% which is statistically significantly higher than the prevalence in the state of Arizona (11.5%). Furthermore, 22.7% of Pima County adults (who responded to the Pima County's 2015 Community Heed Need Assessment Survey) indicated they have been told they have depression and 34.4% reported they sometimes, rarely, or never get the emotional support they need.
During the development of the 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment, key informants, focus group participants, and community forum respondents shared the need for training and education resources, service provision, and policy change.
In response to the community’s request for mental health interventions that address anxiety and depression, Healthy Pima’s Substance Misuse and Mental Health Alliance will work to accomplish the following goals from 2018-2021:
Provide free trainings to Pima County community and clinical service providers on coping skills for anxiety, depression and related disorders.
Reduce access to and dependence on prescription medications and illicit substances in Pima County.
Increase public awareness and education on the effects of substance misuse and to promote good mental health for all residents in Pima County.
Increase access to substance misuse and behavioral health services for residents of Pima County.
Key informants, focus group participants, and community forum respondents from the 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment identified anxiety and depression as a public health concern within Pima County. Community members and leaders noted that:
- The ratio of mental health providers to patients in Pima County is lower than the national average - 833 patients per every one provider.
- The existing provision of services may not meet the linguistic and/or cultural needs of specific populations, including ethnic and language minorities and members of the LGBT community.
- Stigma can exacerbate underlying causal factors and can present barriers to seeking treatment in a timely manner.
For more information on the 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment, please contact: HealthyPima@pima.gov