From Data to Action: Using Novel Methodologies to Shed Light on Prevalence of Mental Health Needs among Veterans
The Research & Data Analytics team supports the Meadows Institute’s mission by using data to objectively identify gaps in mental healthcare that could cause inequities in mental health care access and services. The team brings an innovative approach to developing models that can be used to solve important real-world problems.
To highlight this important work, we produced a video illustrating one example of such innovation. In this video, the team describes how it worked to address a critical lack of estimates of how many U.S. military veterans are experiencing serious mental illnesses and require mental health care. The team worked with our veterans’ mental health experts to develop an analytic method to estimate the number of veterans in need of mental healthcare in each county. They did so by adapting the Horizontal Synthetic Estimation approach to estimate how many veterans in a given county, town, or city, have each type of mental illness based on their demographic characteristics.
Equipped with these new prevalence estimates, leaders and organizations can be confident about the size of the population in need of care. These estimates will help care providers to build capacity for the number of veterans in need of mental healthcare, while also encouraging providers to conduct outreach to veterans who are currently underserved. The estimates also support the Meadows Institute’s policy guidance and program implementation work by helping us identify unmet needs and guide data-informed decisions regarding resource allocation toward veterans’ mental health programs.
Data is the truth and basis or starting point for any system assessment.
– Jennifer Gonzalez, PhD, Senior Vice President of Population Health