CLEARFIELD - Suicide is the ninth leading cause of death in Davis County and the 10th leading cause of hospitalizations.
Because it results in 14.3 deaths per 100,000 population, it was ranked as the number one priority of health issues the Davis County Health Department will address over the next five years.
Preventing suicide, reducing incidents of obesity, providing better access to mental health services and improving air quality were the four top priorities of the first county-wide Community Health Improvement plan, approved by the Davis County Board of Health in its recent board meeting.
The plan is the result of input provided by more than 50 participants from a variety of sectors in the county in 2013, who identified and prioritized health concerns.
Each of the four health issues have actions plans health officials plan to implement to achieve the goals the report outlines.
“The goal of the suicide prevention action plan is to reduce suicide deaths in Davis County to meet the Healthy People 2020 target of 10.2 deaths per 100,000 population," the plan said.
Health officials hope to prevent and reduce obesity through programs that support everyday physical activity and healthy heating choices.
They also hope to increase access to behavioral health by promoting existing resources, adding screenings and referral tools, increasing prevention programs and better train professionals.
The plan calls for increased understanding of air quality issues countywide and ensuring the public is aware of the issues so they can choose behaviors that result in improved air quality, the report said.
Rounding out the top 10 priorities are: anxiety and depression; substance abuse and access to treatment; health and human services coordination; promotion and education of existing resources and services; and health insurance.
Every person living in Davis County is affected by these issues in some way, said Lewis Garrett, director of the Davis County Health Department.
“There is now a plan in place to address these important topics, with the ultimate goal to improve health within our county,” he said.
Saying that collaboration is critical, Lewis applauded the agencies and individual who contributed to the plan.
“We all have a stake in creating a healthier community and no single agency can combat the leading health challenges of the county alone,” Garrett said.