Health Initiatives. Reply post 1

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Health Initiatives 
Briefly describe the availability of and access to mental health care in your community and geographical area.
CountyCare Behavioral health services is a program covering the communities within Cook County offering services at any of the listed consortium agencies. With only one of five mental health programs currently available, CountyCare is dedicated and committed in assisting all populations with appointments within 7 days and for urgent appointments in 2 days. Bilingual services are provided at all locations. CountyCare services are easily assessable with a wide variety of providers listed for easy access. Services are available for all ages, adults, adolescents, and children with a wide coverage of all behavior health services (CountyCare, n.d.).
How has the COVID-19 pandemic revealed equity issue in certain communities?
 The COVID-19 pandemic has brought inequity within communities to the forefront of public health. Health equity has unequally affected many Ethnic and Racial minority groups, placing them at even greater risks of detrimental health and financial outcomes. Ethnic and racial minority groups include people of color, with a broad variety of backgrounds and experiences (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).
 Factors as discrimination, living conditions, occupation and access to healthcare were associated with more COVID-19 cases. Discrimination leads to chronic stress, and overcrowded living conditions left many families with the inability to separate who might be sick. Depending on the type of occupation, individuals work settings also contributed to the increase in COVID (CDC, 2021).
 Limited access to healthcare services and treatment requires addressing the needs of all populations by ensuring health equity is integrated across all communities. This is essential for healthier, stronger, and more resilient communities (CDC, 2021).
What do you see as the greatest barrier to access and how do you feel this would be best addressed? Do you believe that private or public entities are best suited to address this? How do other countries address these issues?
The greatest current barrier to services is the lack of mental health clinics and funding, with current private entities best suited currently to address this issue with the lack of public health entities and access.  The barrier to access has lessened slightly with the ability to utilize telehealth services, but still needs significant expansion. The community requires an increase in government funding and prioritizing the health and individuals within these communities, instead of prioritizing issues as renaming city streets that cost significant amounts of money.
A study conducted on the access of care or potential barriers in other countries shows similar issues across the world and is addressed with an approach to health equity over equality (Eide et al., 2015).
References
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Health equity considerations and racial and ethnic minority groups.U.S Department of Health and Human Services. .
CountyCare. (n.d.). Behavioral health Services. CountyCare Health Plan. https://countycare.com/wp-content/uploads/Behavioral_Health_Trifold_07182018.pdf
 Eide, A. H., Mannan, H., Khogali, M., van Rooy, G., Swartz, L., Munthali, A., Hem, K. G., MacLachlan, M., & Dyrstad, K. (2015). Perceived Barriers for Accessing Health Services among Individuals with Disability in Four African Countries. PloS one, 10(5), e0125915. 
 
 

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