Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health



First Committee Member

Sharon Medcalf, PhD

Second Committee Member

Kendra L. Ratnapradipa, PhD

Third Committee Member

Nicole Kolm-Valdivia, PhD


Over 20% of adults in the United States experience some form of mental illness each year. Those residing in rural areas can see increased prevalence of mental illness, and typically face disparities in access and availability of services for mental health. The goal of this project was to examine the impact of mental health in Woodford County, Illinois using data collected through the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) process, with the intent of identifying areas of improvement that could be implemented at the local level. Analysis of the CHNA data was conducted using frequency analysis in SAS 9.4 through descriptive statistics. Supplementary local data from the Healthy Communities Institute was used to compare CHNA survey priorities with morbidity and mortality information that is available locally. The results show that mental health is the top community health concern for the past two survey cycles. The data indicates that prevalence of mental illness is increasing among the CHNA survey sample with a decrease in overall mental health status and an increase in the frequency of depression. Additionally, fewer individuals report talking to anyone about their mental health during the past year, and the list of reasons for being unable to seek treatment is extensive. The discussion summarizes the key findings of the survey data and lays out a variety of recommendations to improve mental health outcomes for Woodford County.

Included in

Epidemiology Commons