Peace & Well-Being

Peace and well-being are impacted by an individual’s mental health, the violence they experience and by their own actions.

Violence can be defined as words and actions that hurt people. Acts of violence include bullying, suicide, child maltreatment, domestic and intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and youth violence. Violence prevention is ideally suited to a community-based, public health approach.

The use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs causes problems that are pervasive and touch every area of our lives, including the social and economic fabric of our culture. Alcohol and other drug use affect mortality and morbidity, as well as intended and unintended injury, unplanned pregnancy, poor birth outcomes, childhood development, adolescent health, mental health, violence, infectious diseases, and chronic disease.

Good mental health is a core condition for overall health. It is necessary to lead a happy and productive life, to form healthy relationships, and to successfully adjust to change and overcome difficulties. Mental health and well-being are connected to physical health, genetics, behaviors, environments, and other social conditions.

Alcohol & Drug Abuse
Residents that responded to the Burlington County Quality of Life Survey reported that alcohol and drug abuse were their highest concerns when it came to risky behaviors having the greatest impact on overall health in the community. Over 50% said that alcohol was a concern and 48% said that drugs were a concern.

The Burlington County Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) reported that just over 5% drank daily in the last 30 days and 8.4% had 3-6 drinks per week in the last 30 days.

Mental Health
Almost 9% of Burlington County residents reported that their mental health was not good between 15-30 days over the last month. In addition, 13.7% felt sad or blue between 15 and 30 of the last days. Finally, 19.5% felt worried or tense during the last 15 to 30 days.

Violence
Teen violence, bullying, gangs and unsecured firearms were also highlighted as a concern for residents. Teen violence, bullying and gang activity were chosen as top risky behaviors that have the greatest impact on the community. According to the Burlington County BRFSS, over 19% of respondents indicated they owned a firearm. However, over 60% of those that owned a firearm reported that it was loaded and unlocked.

Goals & Objectives
  • Overall Goal: Promote peace and well-being in the community
  • Outcome Objectives / Indicators
    • Decrease the overall number of days that residents reported their mental health was not good
    • Decrease gang activity / teen violence and bullying
    • Decrease the number of residents with loaded, unlocked firearms in their homes
    • Decrease the number of residents that abuse alcohol and drugs
    • Decrease the number of drug related deaths
  • Impact Objectives
    • Reduce the number of gang related / bullying incidents in the county
    • Decrease the number of alcohol related arrests
    • Decrease the number of drug arrests
    • Decrease the number of firearm related incidents in the county
    • Increase knowledge of valuable resources in county
    • Increase consumers knowledge of psychotropic drugs
    • Increase positive reinforcement of children among parents
Risk Factors
  • Depression
  • Feelings of not belonging
  • Financial problems
  • Lack of parental / familial relationships
  • Low self esteem
  • No guidance / no goals
  • Stress
  • Too much undirected free time
  • Unemployment
Potential Barriers
  • Funding
  • Interest level
  • Lack of transportation
  • Resources / staffing
  • Time constraints
Burlington County Lets Rap: Respect, Accept, Protect
Strategies & Resources Available
Suggested Interventions
  • Promote and increase alternative methods of dealing with mental health issues, including:
    • Appropriate drug therapy
    • Biofeedback
    • Coping Skills
    • Exercise
    • Group Therapy
    • Meditation
    • Relaxation
    • Support Systems
  • Increase the number of after school programs / teen activities / community activities
  • Increase the number of parenting courses offered in the county
  • Increase the number of family events at county parks
  • Increase the number of grand parenting support groups in the county
  • Increase the number of volunteer activities for teens
  • Increase the awareness and enforcement of DUI laws
  • Increase the awareness and enforcement of substance abuse laws
  • Increase the number of drug and alcohol prevention and treatment programs in the county
  • Increase the amount of firearm awareness programs available to children
  • Increase and promote amnesty / buy back gun days
  • Increase the number of neighborhood watch programs in the county
  • Increase the number of social drop-in centers in the county
  • Promote the integration of mental health into primary care practice
Resources Available
  • Afri-Female
  • Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs
  • Community Centers
  • Crossroads
  • DRENK
  • DRENK - School Based Youth Services
  • Family Service
  • Family Success Center
  • Family Support Organizations
  • Healthy Adolescent Program
  • Municipal Alliances
  • Prevention Plus
  • Superintendent of Schools
  • YMCA of Burlington County
Quote
It takes a village to raise a child. - African proverb