Substance abuse and mental health disorders threaten the health, longevity, and productivity of Americans every day. From anxiety and depression to hypertension and diabetes, the link between our behavioral health and overall health becomes clearer each day. Recent studies have shown that entire communities benefit from access to high-quality mental or substance abuse services.
Understanding the Data
Using interactive maps, The Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index shows the effects behavioral health has on our overall health. These effects can be seen at the national, state, and county levels. In fact, counties with higher mental health scores on the index tend to have higher personal income, greater economic growth rate, and lower unemployment. This suggests that the strength of our economy and the livelihood of our communities hinge on the health of our people. According to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index, behavioral health has the greatest influence over these contributing factors.
21st Century Cures Act
As more people acknowledge and understand the impact of behavioral health conditions, it becomes increasingly important that we continue to improve access to behavioral health services. The recently passed 21st Century Cures Act is a step towards improving mental and behavioral health policy. The new law provides funds for a new National Mental Health and Substance Use Policy Laboratory. The intent of the law is to implement grants and evaluate evidence-based practices and service delivery models. The law also builds on existing resources like the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices, allowing states, communities, nonprofit organizations, and other stakeholders, to share information regarding their specific programs and practices.
Insurers, employers, health care providers, families, and consumers must continue to collaboratively attempt to reduce the effects behavioral health conditions have on our overall health. Better treatments and support can increase longevity, productivity, and can help us lead fuller healthier lives.
Interested in learning more about behavioral health treatments? Let one of our Chico behavioral health professionals help you today. Contact us now!