ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A comprehensive health study of the region showed that mental health tops the list of concerns shared by medical and community leaders.
There have been two high-profile cases in Albany recently, where police have said that patients not taking their mental health medications were likely or possibly to blame for the crimes, one was the death of two children in a fire set by their grandmother in Northwest Albany.
The other was a police involved fatal shooting in South Albany last week.
A year-long community health needs assessment conducted by Phoebe brought as many as 40 different stakeholders to the table, from public health workers to physicians.
The results showed that mental health is a top four concern for them, and more resources are needed.
"A lot of the data we have shows really for children and adolescents, there are limited services here. The community service board, now ASPIRE, is doing a lot of great work there, and other organizations in town that are doing a lot of great work. It's just, as you know, the funding and other resources that are available just keep going away for that," said Phoebe Director of planning Lori Jenkins.
The statistics show that people with a serous mental illness don't live long lives, 53 years old is the average life span.
Couple that with a substance abuse disorder, the average age of death is 45 years old.
Phoebe leaders said they are continuing to work to bring physicians, public health and other community leaders together to address the lack of mental health resources in the region.