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A research project from

The Ford Family Foundation

Lack of Services Affects all Oregonians

Oregon Voices survey respondents confirm what we know from available data: Health care services are not equitably available to all Oregonians. Unfortunately, where someone lives in our state may determine the type of services available and, as a result, their physical and mental wellness. Continue reading to learn more from voices from across the state on how the lack of services affects them and their families.

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Key Finding 1: Rural Access

Oregon Voices respondents confirmed that where Oregonians live determines the availability of basic health care services. In five rural counties, more than half of survey respondents disagreed that their communities have enough providers.

“I personally don’t think we have enough medical facilities. We do have a small hospital, but for anything major we have to travel 35 miles away, which as I grow older is becoming increasingly inconvenient.”

– Rural respondent, white, Crook County

Key Finding 2: Young Oregonians’ Mental Health

The lack of mental health care services affects all Oregonians, especially young people. Concerningly, the youngest Oregon Voices survey respondents reported poor or fair mental health at higher rates than older generations.

“For those with sustainable income, this is a wonderful community. For people with complex and ongoing health issues, though, the nearest specialty care is at least an hour’s drive away. Victims of major trauma due to accidents and major health events must be transferred to medical sites out of the area. This generates hardship for the family and friends of the traumatized.”

– Rural respondent, white, Lincoln County

Key Finding 3: Community Mental Health

Rural and frontier residents share the most concern about substance abuse. While urban residents report the most concern about mental illness, nearly half of the respondents agreed that many residents struggle with mental illness in their community.

“We need free medical and mental health providers to help with the amount of drug related issues including homelessness in our communities.”

– Rural respondent, BIPOC, Josephine County

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