Public Health Concerns and Vaccine Information

Mental health remains a significant concern, spanning our local communities, across the state, and throughout the country. This week’s health update offers some local data and highlights two important free resources available to residents. 

 GBPH

Among Boylston, Northborough, Southborough, and Westborough residents, 19.7% of adults (age 18 and older) have been diagnosed with depression by a health care provider, compared to 20.9% in the state, and 19.5% across the country. To learn more about mental health conditions, warning signs and symptoms, and treatment options, visit www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness. Data is from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which can be accessed through the state’s Community Health Data Tool.

 

This decline in mental health is also present among youth. According to the 2021 MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey, conducted by the MetroWest Health Foundation across 25 communities in the region, 20% of middle school students and 27% of the high school students in the MetroWest region reported depressive symptoms. To learn more about children’s mental health, including symptoms and treatment, child development, and improving access to care, visit www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth

 

Mental Health Resources

There are services available for residents – please take some time to learn more about these free resources and spread the word, as they can offer support and assistance. 

 

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The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline offers individuals who are in emotional distress or having suicidal thoughts to talk to trained call takers. 988 can be accessed by phone, text, and chat at 988lifeline.org. Calls are routed based on the area code of the caller’s phone number, with call centers in Massachusetts.

 

Since the July 2022 launch, 988 has received and routed about 8.6 million calls, texts, and chats. In the month of January 2024, routed 507,396 contacts. For more information visit www.mass.gov/988 or www.988lifeline.org.  

 

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The Behavioral Health Help Line (BHHL) is a service of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, operated by the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP) and is available to anyone in Massachusetts. This helpline connects individuals and families to a range of treatment services for mental health and substance use offered in MA, including outpatient, urgent, and immediate crisis care. This service is free, confidential, and no health insurance is required, available in more than 200 languages, and is available 24/7, 365 days per year. Residents can call or text 833-773-2445 or visit the website to chat online. Please visit masshelpline.com for more information and access to the chat feature. 

 

To access the pdf version to share with residents, visit www.gbph.org