Community wellness survey seeks information on town, region

Trumbull residents may soon be receiving telephone calls seeking information on topics like their tooth brushing habits, their level of happiness and the responsiveness of police and local government to their needs. The calls are part of the Primary Care Action Group, of which the Trumbull Health Department is a member, and participation is key to gathering important information about the community, according to Health Director Rhonda Capuano.

“The survey gives us more and more information about our community,” she said. “It helps with developing and designing programs that are needed in an individual community, and helps us address issues if possible.”

The last time the group surveyed the region was 2015, and the results are on the Health Department’s website. That year, 150 of about 1,500 residents polled participated in the survey, and 94% indicated they were generally satisfied with the quality of life in Trumbull.

Trumbull residents were also more likely than the state average to be registered to vote and make use of public parks and recreation, but less likely to volunteer with a community service group or make use of cultural resources like museums or concerts. Trumbull residents also reported higher rates of heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol, but lower rates of anxiety, asthma and overweight than the state average. In 2015, Trumbull residents also drank more but smoked less than the state average.

“Our initial feedback from residents and our previous experience with this survey shows that people like to answer these questions,” said Mark Abraham, executive director of DataHaven, the non-profit agency that designs the survey and tabulates the results. “They are answering questions about their own happiness and health, their family’s financial security, and how their communities and neighborhoods are faring. These questions show that we care about how they feel.”
The 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey will allow unprecedented tracking of regional and local trends over the past three years, and will create an even more in-depth portrait of Connecticut’s neighborhoods, when updated results are shared this fall, Abraham said.
“We believe the 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey, the most comprehensive local-level survey of its type in the United States, will continue to be of great value to neighborhoods and organizations striving to make our cities and towns even better places to live and work,” Abraham said.