About one in every five U.S. adults experience mental illness in a given year. Additionally, one in five youth aged 13-18 will experience a severe mental disorder at some point in their lives. Despite the prevalence of mental health illness, less than half receive behavioral health care to address this important health care need.
At the forefront of today’s behavioral health concerns is an epidemic of opioid addiction, which kills 91 Americans each day, overwhelming law enforcement, health and child protective systems. This epidemic is the main factor driving the recent decline in average American life expectancy.
Shelby County Public Health recognizes the need for access to holistic care, including behavioral health support. Some Public Health initiatives that focus on mental health promotion includes:
- Our partnership with Behavioral Health to provide Mothers and Babies Support Groups in Shelby County.
- Collaboration with Behavioral Health to create “Lean into Life”, a local widower/widow support group.
- Opioid Overdose Training for Law Enforcement and Responders
- Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Community Conference on the lifelong impact of ACES on the entire health spectrum.
- Shelby County Wellness Alliance partnership, including the “Feel Better” component to improve holistic wellness in Shelby County.
- Improving access to behavioral health services for people experiencing mental illness as needed.
- Working with the newly-created Shelby County Prevent Child Abuse Council to provide education and programming that strengthen families.
With the support of Myrtue Medical Center, the Shelby County Board of Health and our community partners, Shelby County Public Health continues to advocate and promote access for mental well-being as part of a healthy lifestyle. Working together, we can build healthier communities and eventually, the healthiest nation, changing our future for generations to come.