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Chippewa Valley Mental Health Needs Survey

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 1:51 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE AND CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -

News Release:

Wisconsin is not alone in facing a growing need for mental health services. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the mental health crisis, and access to services is not keeping pace with the need.

To help identify potential ways to expand access to the unmet need for mental health services in our Chippewa Valley communities, HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals have launched a community mental health needs survey. It is available to community members from June 13-30. It can be accessed by visiting: hshs.org/survey

“As part of this process, we are assessing multiple ways to potentially expand access to services that align with our mission to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry,” says John Wagner, President and CEO of HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital.

HSHS leaders, in partnership with other local health care providers, public health departments and other community stakeholders have identified mental health as a top concern in the Chippewa Valley, as documented in the 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). The topic has ranked among the top three concerns each year the CHNA has been conducted over the past decade.

In July 2021, as part of the state’s biennial budget, Governor Evers announced HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls would receive $15 million to expand the hospitals’ capacity by adding 22 new psychiatric beds.

“We are honored to work with the state of Wisconsin to enhance behavioral health services in the Chippewa Valley,” says HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital President and CEO, Andy Barth. “As we move forward with these plans, we feel compelled to look at possibly taking our work even further in our communities. What this could specifically mean will be determined, in part, by results from this survey.”

HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals strongly encourage community members to participate in the survey, which will take approximately two minutes to complete. It’s also encouraged people share the survey link with loved ones who live in the Chippewa Valley area. A high participation rate will help our hospitals focus efforts and right-size services to best meet community needs.

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