Partners for Healthier Communities is now the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts launched Thursday in Springfield.

For the past 20 years, you may have recognized the group as the Partners for Healthier Communities. They’ve re-branded themselves because their work has expanded to include research assessment and evaluation. Their goal is to use data to drive action for public health.

They just released their most recent survey done with 8th graders from Springfield Public Schools.

“What we have seen from the findings with regard to the question of feeling hopelessness or sad, is that there are certain groups of students that experience sadness or hopelessness more than others,” Executive Director Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts Jessica Collins said.

She says people who identify as LGBTQ, Latino or mixed race, and females are the students who reported the highest feelings of sadness or hopelessness.

The new Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts will use the data to put together strategies to address the problems they find in the survey.

View the full report below:

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