Community Health Worker Helps Tackle Mental Health, Nutrition, and Oral Health Concerns
Meet Crystal Dancy, the new Community Health Worker at Lifetrack. She received her Community Health Worker certification at Summit Academy in Minneapolis and then worked three and a half years for North Point Health and Wellness Center in the mental health department. We are excited to have her as a part of our team!
In 2016, Lifetrack partnered with Wilder Research to conduct a needs assessment for health concerns among the families we serve. According to the assessment, mental health, poor nutrition, and oral health were the health concerns that were most familiar to families in the study. All parents had reported that they struggled with mental health to the point where it was challenging to take care of their families, or even themselves. The assessment showed a significant need for a Community Health Worker in our community.
Crystal Dancy will be doing in-home visits to understand better the individual needs of families participating in the Lifetrack Families Together program.
It is essential for the health worker to be able to relate to the families and understand their situation—this is one point that the assessment made clear. This creates a stable relationship with the families and a stronger foundation of trust. Crystal Dancy stated that she had experienced the similar obstacles that the participant families have, “I am a single mom, once on MFIP myself. I can provide that type of support too. I see my role as providing community resources, but also someone who is there if clients need to talk. I learned that a lot of people like to speak with individuals who walked the same life as they walked.”
Dancy will be offering support and community resources to the Families Together program families who need it. This information and support could be lifesaving. “Mental health comes in all shapes and sizes and colors," says Dancy, "you're not alone here.”