Monroe, LA – Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (NEDHSA) and the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana (Food Bank of NELA) announce the launch of a Mental Health and Food Insecurity Survey. The survey assessment will help measure food insecurity, food inadequacy, and mental health needs among clients served between the two agencies.
NEDHSA Executive Director Dr. Monteic A. Sizer said the information discovered will “help us better understand the complex challenges our people have with food insecurity, mental illness, and negative social determinants of health.”
“This is an opportunity to assess just how large, complex, and intertwined the problems of mental illness and food instabilities are for vulnerable people and communities in our region,” Dr. Sizer said. “Once known, we will further develop strategies and partnerships to do something about the problems found. We are doing applied research. We intend to meet the needs of people with what we find.”
Data will be shared between NEDHSA and the Food Bank of NELA to create appropriate referrals to services provided by both agencies.
In September 2021, both agencies announced a mutual memorandum of understanding designed to help meet the needs of those seeking mental health, addictive disorder, prevention and wellness, developmental disability, and food insecurity services in the 12 parishes of Northeast Louisiana.
Food Bank of NELA Executive Director Jean Toth said NEDHSA’s Mental Health and Food Insecurity Survey will provide information and insight that “will help both NEDHSA and the Food Bank better serve our region.”
“The data collected can guide our future outreach and services across the twelve parishes we serve by providing a deeper understanding of many of the challenges facing our neighbors,” Toth said.
NEDHSA’s partnership with the Food Bank of NELA is an extension of its integrated care service model. NEDHSA created its own service delivery model and services network to help mitigate the negative social determinants of health experienced by many of its mental health, addiction, prevention and wellness, primary health, and developmental disability patients.
Dr. Sizer added: “Our region’s population health will not improve until we begin working across governmental, business, faith, and nonprofit silos. We must also be surgical in our approach as we work to root out those negative social determinants of health that limit the potential of our region’s people. And when I think about food insecurity as we approach Thanksgiving, there can be no better way to show compassion for vulnerable people than to help them meet their food and related social needs like housing, health care, and finding a job.”
Click the following link to complete the NEDHSA Mental Health and Food Insecurity Survey.
Links to other NEDHSA research can be found below:
FY21 Annual Report
Economic Impact Study