To help change the inequality in access to care, Jensen said the department is looking to form a coalition with public agencies, private citizens, nonprofits and other community voices and address each of the three goals head-on.
The department’s stated goals are: ensuring “all individuals in Merced County have access to quality health care,” “optimizing social and physical environments to support healthy lifestyles” and increasing wellness in Merced County “by addressing the conditions that lead to drug and alcohol abuse.” The department has given itself until 2021 to achieve each of these goals.
While the scope of work may be daunting, department officials say they hope to achieve true healthy equity by incorporating a wide-spectrum of voices and community representatives in the planned coalition.
I’ve seen the effects of not getting help for mental illness first hand and it’s no joke. It’s very sad to see. One day a friend may be behaving normally and the next they can fall apart. What makes it worse is that sometimes you don’t even know what’s going on or how to help.
According to the University of the Pacific’s Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, which operates the Virtual Dental Home pilot program, more than 30 percent of Californians are unable to meet their oral health needs through the traditional dental care system. Some 54 percent of Medi-Cal-enrolled children received no dental care in 2012 and even fewer received preventive care services.
In fact, studies have confirmed that transgender older adults suffer far higher levels of depression, disability and loneliness than nontransgender older adults. Seventy-one percent of transgender older adults have contemplated taking their own lives, compared with just 3.7 percent of the general U.S. population.
Growing up, my mother wasn’t like any other mom I’d see. When we would go to the park across the street from our house, she would automatically head towards the bench and sit. I would see other kids my age being chased by their mom or being helped across the monkey bars. My mom could only just stare from a distance while I played.