Hoping to take the community's pulse in regard to residents' emotional well being and mental health, Rocky View County (RVC) is conducting a Family and Community Social Needs Assessment this summer.
According to Dari Lang, the manager of recreation, parks, and community support for RVC, the county-wide public engagement initiative will include separate surveys for adults and youth, as well as five working sessions that will be held in the coming weeks.
Lang said this marks the first time in approximately a decade the County has conducted such an assessment, adding the feedback and results will help the municipality determine the overall mental wellbeing of the community.
“We want to do it to better understand the health of our communities, particularly post-COVID,” she said. “We’ve [hired] a consultant – Moorhouse and Associates – to help propel that process forward.”
Lang said the information collected will be used in RVC's decision-making when it comes to Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) funding, which is allocated annually and aims to enhance the lives of Rocky View residents.
According to a County news release, data captured by the youth survey will assist to see what gaps are identified in the County for services, programs and support that are important from a youth perspective as opposed to an adult perspective.
The social needs assessment comes on the heels of RVC's recent Citizen Satisfaction Survey, the results of which were published and discussed at the July 12 council meeting. Lang highlighted how the social needs assessment is separate from that survey, but another important component of the County's public engagement strategy.
“We’re really trying to do a strong outreach in the community to make sure everyone who wants to be engaged, can be engaged,” Lang said.
The two new surveys will be available until Sept. 15. RVC residents can access the questionnaires either through the County's website – Rockyview.ca – or with a QR code.
FCSS coordinator Cheryl Cresine said Moorhouse and Associates is distributing surveys to community groups at events in the form of a two-sided postcard that includes QR codes for each survey.
“What’s exciting about the postcards is they also have QR codes to make it easy for people to scan,” she said. “That takes them directly to the survey. Or, they can also go on their computer and log on through the website provided on that postcard as well.”
In addition to the questionnaires, Cresine said the County will hold five working sessions with Moorhouse and Associates representatives to further garner in-person feedback on social needs.
The first three sessions are taking place Aug. 30 at County Hall from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., and 6 to 8 p.m. The other two take place Sept. 19 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Langdon Community Church and Sept. 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Springbank Heritage Club.
“Langdon’s needs may be very different than Springbank’s needs,” Lang said. “The way we’re doing this process will help us identify what those needs are, and then our FCSS board – who allocates annual funding to our funded agencies that provide programming and supports to our residents – will be able to assess that information and re-target funding as they see needed.”
To register for the in-person sessions, residents can sign up at the County’s website through the municipality's community calendar or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org