May 13–19, 2018, is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Prevention Week. NACCHO encourages local health departments (LHDs) to engage their communities in promoting mental health and substance abuse prevention efforts throughout this week. The theme this year is “Action Today, Healthier Tomorrow!”
- Monday, May 14: Promotion of Mental Health & Wellness
- Tuesday, May 15: Prevention of Underage Drinking & Alcohol Misuse
- Wednesday, May 16: Prevention of Prescription & Opioid Drug Misuse
- Thursday, May 17: Prevention of Illicit Drug Use & Youth Marijuana
- Friday, May 18: Prevention of Suicide
- Saturday, May 19: Prevention of Youth Tobacco Use
By Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, NACCHO President and Executive Director of Harris County Public Health in Houston, Texas
May is Mental Health Month, a time for local health department (LHD) leaders and staff to bring awareness to mental health issues and help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. Led by Mental Health America and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), this month provides an important opportunity to reflect on the ways in which local public health agencies can support the mental health of our communities.
Mental health issues affect wide ranges of the populations we serve as LHD leaders and staff. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 44 million American adults, (nearly one in five adults) experienced some form of mental illness. Mental health disorders can include anxiety; attention deficit hyperactivity; bipolar disorder; depression; disruptive, impulse control, and conduct disorders; obsessive-compulsive disorder; schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders; and trauma- and stressor-related disorders. Continue reading
By Evelyn Arana, NACCHO Health and Disability Fellow
This story originally ran in NACCHO’s Essential Elements blog.
In recognition of May’s Mental Health Month, organizations and people across the US are raising awareness for mental health. NACCHO joins the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health America, and other organizations nationwide in recognizing the importance of addressing mental health illness. It is also important to recognize the increased risk of mental health illness among people with disabilities. Local health departments (LHDs) can embrace Mental Health Month and play a fundamental role in efforts to increase awareness of mental health illness among people with disabilities. NACCHO’s Health and Disability team offers LHDs support and guidance in increasing awareness of mental health illness among this population. Continue reading
By Dr. Swannie Jett, NACCHO President and Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County
The issue of mental illness was thrust into the national spotlight on Oct. 1, when a gunman killed nine people at a community college in Oregon, drawing worldwide media attention. Far less attention is paid to the millions of people in communities across the United States who experience mental illness and never resort to violence. However, it’s important that they get public attention and the attention of local health departments as well. Continue reading