Many living in Benton Harbor don't think there are enough job opportunities and it's affecting their health. That's according to a survey from the Berrien County Department of Health.
The goal was to identify what stresses people out and how that affects their health ... in communities where there are fewer resources and the people generally have more health issues.
Of the more than 250 people surveyed in Benton Harbor:
- 53 percent reported feeling stressed often or always.
According to Berrien County Health Department officials, this is significant because research shows that chronic stress leads to poor health outcomes and higher mortality rates.
- 50 percent do not believe community factors help them live a healthy life
- 60 percent disagreed there were adequate opportunities for education
- 58 percent disagreed affordable healthy foods were available in their community
- 90 percent disagreed their were adequate opportunities for employment
Like a lot of people, Patricia Jones is looking for work. Jones, a Benton Harbor resident, was laid off after working at her job for 13 years.
"I'm 59 years old. It would be hard to get a job because at my age they don't want to give me another job," says Jones.
While Jones says she is keeping a positive attitude ... for so many others in her hometown of Benton Harbor the stress is a lot to take. According to the Berrien County Health Department, that stress could be affecting community health.
"We can see there is a correlation between higher stress levels in people that have fewer resources and less control over their day to day lives and less power in their jobs," says Gillian Conrad of the Berrien County Health Department, "and this kind of chronic stress due to lack of control or lack of hope. That is detrimental to our health."
So the health department surveyed more than 250 people from Benton Harbor to find out what stresses them out.
Top Stressors Include: