One in 10 People in Buffalo County Concerned With Mental Health Issues, Finds Survey

The Buffalo County Community Partners and administered by the University of Nebraska at Kearney political science professors offered the online survey.

People in Buffalo With Mental Health Issues

In Buffalo County, one in five people regularly assist someone with a health issue or disorder and one in 10 report mental health issues that affect normal activities, while nearly 42 percent keep leftover prescription drugs.

However, Buffalo County people usually report good overall mental health, reduced weight, minimal drug use, and actively buckling up for safety.

The online survey was offered by Buffalo County Community Partners (BCCP) and conducted by the political science professor at the University of Nebraska. BCCP offers the survey every two years.

The results of a mental health adult questionnaire were taken a year ago by 996 residents of Buffalo County.

The survey was modeled after the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Emily Baughman, the BCCP data coordinator, said, “The results are a snapshot of current health indicators.”

Ron Dobesh, the board member of BCCP, said “39.8 percent of Americans reported a BMI of 30 or above, according to the CDC’s 2017 figures. Figures for Nebraska put the obesity rate between 30 percent and 35 percent, which is similar to surrounding states.”

Dobesh added, Contrary to advertisements, there is no quick fix to obesity. Healthier diets, more physical activity and fewer processed foods are critical, but genetics, gender and educational background also play roles.”

The online survey also noted that people between 19 and 24 years of age reported higher rates of depression when compared with other age groups.

Beth Baxter, from Region 3 Behavioral Health Services, explained that measures are taken to help treat this, which include educational opportunities on mental health first aid, care that addresses trauma, a focus on suicide prevention, and assistance to improve the mental health.

Baughman said, “Our organization is celebrating the decline of obesity. Continued efforts to improve mental wellness, and provide more information about prescription misuse will improve our community’s health indicators.” BCCP urges people to return unused drugs to local pharmacies or periodic take-back events in order to reduce the misuse of prescription drugs.