New report identifies neighborhoods in need of behavioral health services []


At first glance, the Philadelphia neighborhoods in zip codes 19148 and 19120 might seem to have little in common.

The 19120 zip code is on the northern edge of the city, bordering Cheltenham Township and including parts of the Olney, East Oak Lane, and Lawncrest neighborhoods.

The 19148 zip code is along the Delaware River in Southeast Philadelphia, just below the Pennsport neighborhood and bisected by Interstate 76 before the highway links to the Walt Whitman Bridge.

But these two areas both have a shortage of behavioral health services, according to a new study comparing the availability of such services to the need for them.

The study, called “Place Matters,” uses sophisticated mapping techniques to identify neighborhoods that are likely to be underserved by mental health providers, particularly those serving young children.

“Traditional services aren’t always located where the kids need them to be,” said Joe Pyle,  president of the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation, one of the sponsoring agencies of the study.

The others are the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health and the city’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services (DBHIDS).

“Increasingly, we are recognizing that where people live makes a real difference in their health status,” said Arthur Evans, outgoing commissioner of the city department.

“Zip code is a better predictor of health status than the genetic code.”

To read the full article by Paul Jablow, click here.

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