Study shows new health, safety concerns amid water crisis - WNEM TV 5

Study shows new health, safety concerns amid water crisis

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A new study shows Flint families are dealing with more than just physical symptoms from the lead water crisis.

A face-to-face survey given by Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response, or CASPAR, as well as several organizations, found behavioral health has also been impact from the water crisis.

Behavioral health includes trouble concentrating, depressed mood, anxiety, stress and substance abuse.

“Behavioral health needs in the Flint water crisis were apparent when I arrived in Flint in January, and federal agencies have been working with the state and community to meet these needs,” said Dr. Nicole Lurie with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The study found in homes with adults ages 21 or older, two thirds reported at least one adult had one or more new or worsening behavioral health concerns since October 2015.

In homes with family members younger than 21, slightly more than half reported at least one person had worsening behavioral issues.

Researchers also looked at physical health concerns.

The most commonly reported symptom was skin rash or irritation. Also reported was fatigue, nausea, forgetfulness, muscle aches or pains.

The report also looked at how families receive trusted information about the crisis. It found more than 76-percent of households get their information from news media and television.

The city of Flint received a $4.8 million grant from SAMHSA to provide behavioral health and violence prevention programs to youth and families who have experience trauma since the water crisis.

“We are committed to continuing our efforts to help residents connect with the behavioral and physical health resources that are right for them,” said Nick Lyon, director with the MDHHS. “With the right support, information, and collaboration, we can continue to improve the short and long-term health outcomes in Flint.”

Officials said the study will help guide further response efforts for residents. 

To read more on the study:

CASPER Press Release 

Flint CASPER Report

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