In Johnson County, the suicide rate for seniors is 25 percent above the Texas average, but a grant from Texas Health Resources is working to help isolated seniors. THR will be distributing $5.2 million worth of community impact grants all across North Texas to address everything from depression to food scarcity.
The initiative is called Texas Health Community Impact and focuses on specific ZIP codes where chronic disease and premature death are more common, and partners with agencies in education, healthcare, and government. The funds will be directed toward 12 agencies across five geographic regions made up of 401 ZIP codes in North Texas.
“This is our opportunity to play a role in upstream issues that impact health and well-being,” said Dr. Catherine Oliveros, Texas Health’s vice president of Community Health Improvement via release. “Siloed efforts have limited success. If we are really going to transform health and health care, we must transform systems and communities.”
Community surveys, an analysis of Texas Health Community Health Needs Assessments, and visits throughout the state revealed lack of access to food and mental health resources for seniors and youth, resulting in higher rates of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and depression.
In Collin County, $900,000 will be granted to fight depression with collaborations Beyond Blue and PlanoUp!. Over $1 million will be granted to behavioral health initiative Well Together in Dallas and Rockwall counties, which will focus on underserved communities in ZIP codes 75212, 75217, and 75032. In Denton and Wise Counties $300,000 will target Sanger ISD to aid food insecurity and lack of transportation in teenagers. South of Dallas, $900,000 will benefit Senior Connect-Connections Project, Tarleton State University, and United Way of Johnson County to address depression, social isolation, and access to healthy food for low income adults. In Tarrant and Parker Counties, the United Way of Tarrant County will receive over $1 million to address social determinants of health and address depression and social isolation.
“Texas Health Community Impact is one of Texas Health’s commitments to live our nonprofit, faith-based health system’s mission: To improve the health of the people in the communities we serve,” said the system’s CEO, Barclay Berdan via release. “It’s said that a person’s ZIP code has a greater impact on their health than their genetic code. That’s why we’re reaching out into the communities we serve and hoping to make a real difference in the health and well-being of people in these areas of North Texas.”