The Role of Communities
Communities are suffering a behavioral health crisis. Depression, anxiety, and other behavioral health problems are complicated and may have multiple underlying causes. Too often, suicide can become the worst outcome of mental illness and substance use. One fact is certain – it’s imperative that community organizations such as local hospitals, churches, youth organizations, towns, and cities help their members through difficult times.
When treatment is focused only on the later stages of mental illness or substance use, it can become costly not only to the individual, but also to the community at large. Early intervention can prevent the potentially devastating effects including: unemployment, homelessness, poverty, and suicide. Community organizations can play a major role in shaping the overall health and wellness of their members by increasing access to reliable information.
For the good of all, community organizations should lead the way in raising mental health and substance use awareness.
Prevention Through Education
Fear and stigma are two of the leading deterrents for those seeking treatment for mental health and substance use conditions. Community leaders play an important role in providing facts about mental illness and substance use, correcting misconceptions, and connecting people to helpful resources. Most mental health conditions are treatable – early identification and intervention are directly tied to improved health outcomes for both acute and chronic mental health conditions.