We know that the past two years have been a struggle for our community, but with accurate data we can better inform funding and planning processes to improve the overall health of this region.”
Alison Schwedner, Director of the Community Collaborative
The goal of TTCF’s Family Strengthening initiative is to improve the health and resiliency of all community members. Areas of focus include: Safety-net services, mental and behavioral health, disaster preparedness and response, education and economic well-being. Our Community Collaborative represents a partnership of more than 45 social service organizations that play a role in this important work.
The Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee has been convening for over 25 years to strengthen families and improve our community’s health, education and safety.
To that end, our comprehensive 2022 Community Engagement and Behavioral Health Survey Report, released in April, informs our work as we address one of our most pressing issues.
A total of 858 of our neighbors participated in the survey, answering 37 core behavioral health questions and 15 questions specific to North Tahoe.
This follows a similar survey conducted in 2020, and will help us measure the local impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the results give us a clear view of some issues that we need to address as a community, they also contain information that allows us to feel optimistic that we will be able to face these issues together.
Health, Wellness, and Engagement:
Survey findings confirmed that living in a tourist town comes with stressors that negatively impact our mental health. Though this may be a tourist town, it’s also a close-knit community filled with neighbors looking out for one another.
Trust This Community
Asked whether they trust their neighbors, an overwhelming number of Tahoe Truckee residents replied in the affirmative.
Have Considered Moving Away
Housing instability, lack of stable employment, or insufficient income to cover expenses were cited as the top three reasons some folks have thought about leaving the area.
Struggle With Mental Health
These respondents reported that there were three or more days per month during which their mental health was not good. That percentage is considered high relative to other US communities, but it was similar to survey results in Eagle and Summit. The percentage has increased significantly from 2020 survey findings.
Know About Local Resources
Awareness of local mental health resources has increased significantly since 2020, but the reported likelihood of using these services has decreased.
Have been impacted by substance abuse
A large percentage of Tahoe Truckee residents report that their lives have been negatively affected by their own or someone else’s substance abuse issues. 19.2% report being deeply impacted by drugs or alcohol—the national average is 11.2%.
We Are All In it Together
In Tahoe Truckee, it’s possible to find isolation, and that is not always a good thing. We don’t have as many resources as urban areas, and we simply don’t have the robust system of mental health services that we need. So as a community, we are obligated to look at other types of support to offset the lack of providers.
One thing we do have here is a strong sense of community, and by coming together we can face these challenges. By bringing flexible dollars to the table we can address four key areas that we know will help improve our mental health system:
• Policy and funding
• Strategic collaboration
• Local programs and services
• Field building and Inclusivity