2022 Policy Institute: A Bi-Directional Approach To Bring Together Public Health And Mental Health
This webinar is hosted by Mental Health America
When the national public health emergency declaration was initiated, policymakers acted quickly to support states in informing the public, preventing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, supporting access to health care, and to remedy financial and economic fallout. It became clear that as physical and surgical health needs were being met with policy flexibility and funding, many of the mental health needs in families and communities were not met with a necessary increase in funding and flexibility. In many ways, mental health and mental illness were thought about by public health agencies as an afterthought, even though there was early evidence of great mental needs in the frontline workforce and data showing increases in substance use, telemental health visits, and emergency room visits for youth in crisis.
Among public health stakeholder discussions, there is an acknowledgment that mental health professional services and supports are not fully embedded into the public health system. There is also limited awareness of how the mental health system, as strained as it is, successfully engages with public health. Through six sessions over a three-hour virtual meeting, Mental Health America’s National Policy Institute will inform policymakers and other stakeholders about:
How federal agencies can better work together to support public mental health, and what data collection and data analysis contribute to responding to crises,
What missing components of a robust public mental health workforce should be employed that other countries use,
What is needed to ensure key messages from public health officials are aligned and effective,
What structural support is needed to build and sustain a strong equitable public workforce that includes behavioral health professionals and paraprofessionals,
How financing should be modeled to support better public mental health, and what prevention research has emerged on mental health,
What community-based models promoting mental wellness should be funded and integrated, and;
How young leaders have led changes in local, state, and federal government to better meet rising youth mental health needs.
MHA’s National Policy Institute will also recognize a young person for their dedication to advocacy over the last year with the 2022 Youth Advocacy Award.