NAVAJO COUNTY — The Public Health Department of Navajo County recently published the results of their 2018 Public Health Assessment used to “describe the physical and social conditions that affect the health of Navajo County.”

With 108,956 residents in 2017, the study compiled the results of epidemiological data, two focus groups, a formal written survey and meetings among local leadership within the county.

“I’m proud to say we had 1,108 people complete the survey which is a significant amount of people,” said Navajo County Public Health District representative Allison Hephner. “We also had a focus group in Winslow and Show Low to kind of dial down what we saw in the survey and really dial down deeper into what the community felt about our health needs.”

The study also incorporated data, focus groups and surveys of the Apache, Hopi, Navajo and White Mountain tribal communities.

So how did Navajo County residents rate their overall health as a community?

Sixty-six percent of survey respondents rated the health of Navajo County as “fair,” or “poor.” Only 2 percent rated it as “excellent” and 32 percent gave the county a “good” rating.

Serious health problems including substance abuse, mental health, suicide and poverty were among the top concerns of Navajo County residents.

Sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea measured epidemic numbers in 2017, were also in the top five when it came to health concerns.

Navajo County’s rate of suicide is more than twice that of the United States,” stated the report. The assessment also stated that there were “… over 2,000 emergency room visits in 2017 for mental disorders of all types and over 900 in-patient visits for mental or emotional conditions, and an estimated 40,000 outpatient contacts for general mental health, serious mental health, or substance abuse counseling in one year.”

“In 2016, the rate of deaths related to alcohol in Navajo County (65.9 percent) was almost four times higher than the rate for Arizona (17.6 percent),” states the report.

Read more at WMI