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New report addresses concerns of Veterans and First Responders

Community Needs Health Assessment

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Veterans Recovery Resources (VRR) along with the USA Polling Group recently published the 2022 Veteran’s and First Responder’s Community Health Needs Assessment.

Findings from the assessment indicate a growing disparity in access to a variety of services for veterans in Mobile and Baldwin Counties, as well as the need to expand behavioral and mental health services. “While these findings are consistent with national trends, we have specific geographic concerns for our veterans, first responders, and families in Southwest Alabama that must be addressed,” said John Kilpatrick, Founder and Executive Director of Veterans Recovery Resources.

“Of the 65,000 veterans in our two-county service area, only 26% are enrolled in VA services. This has been an issue for a long time. Now we have solid data to support our expanding clinical and community offerings, guiding us to deliver the highest quality, culturally competent, integrated healthcare available,” Kilpatrick said.

The Community Health Needs Assessment report, available at vetsrecover.org, details the stark contrast between veterans living in Baldwin and Mobile counties. Veterans living in Baldwin County are more likely to possess privately purchased health insurance, more likely to rate their healthcare quality as excellent or good, and less frequently seek care from an urgent care clinic.

When it comes to recovery from mental health and substance abuse, the report offers additional support to a community and family-based approach. Geographically, the Gulf Coast is home to the second-highest density of veterans in the nation. 13% of respondents reported serving in the military; however, nearly 70% of respondents had an immediate family member who has served.

Additionally, veterans and first responders believe PTSD treatment, health insurance, and group therapy options should be further expanded in both counties. 36% were not confident if they or loved ones were experiencing addiction or emotional distress that services in either area would be helpful.

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