Health: Help people be safe, active, and smart about health choices
St. Joseph County is home to some of the finest healthcare facilities in the country. Yet, we are not immune to the same physical and mental health problems that affect Americans from coast to coast. Many of us are overweight. Many among us are depressed. Many are addicted to substances and behaviors that provide momentary pleasure but long-term damage. Many people hurt inside and out. Many people need comfort and care.
- In St. Joseph County, 29% of pregnant women do not receive prenatal care (compared to the U.S. average of 16%). Nearly 37% of pregnant women in our community are unmarried. Four percent of pregnant women are under the age of 18.
- Between 22%-27% of St. Joseph County residents are at risk for premature death due to obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure.
- Indiana ranks as one of the 10 highest states for major depression in individuals age 26 and older.
- 13% of homeless persons become victims of domestic violence.
- In 2009, the total count of sheltered homeless persons in St. Joseph County was 529.
- Minority youth are disproportionately represented in Indianaâ€™s child welfare, education, juvenile justice and mental health systems.
But, we are resilient, and we are smart. We can recognize the symptoms when someone among us is hurt, unhealthy, or faces barriers to understanding how to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. We know how to deliver healthcare. Together, we will succeed in bridging the gaps in mental, physical, and social health care services by investing in programs that prevent, educate, and alleviate physical and sexual abuse, chemical dependencies and addictions, and behaviors that create health risks.