Online Program

Creating and measuring population-level impact of place-based behavioral health strategies: Lessons learned from Philadelphia Mental Health First Aid

Monday, November 2, 2015: 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Behavioral health needs such as mental health conditions, substance abuse, suicide, and community violence are widespread. Yet advances in treatment research have demonstrated that with access to quality care, the majority of individuals can and do recover, even from the most serious forms of mental illness. Reflecting this, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, the Affordable Care Act, and the National Dialogue on Mental Health signal an era of significant policy and practice change for behavioral health and the broader health care field. However, a number of recent large-scale violent incidents have created inaccurate associations between violence and mental illness among the general public. This session will focus on interventions and research efforts in Philadelphia to address population behavioral health needs while decreasing mental health stigma and encouraging place-based strategies to build community resilience. Panelists will present the conceptual background and lessons learned from efforts in Philadelphia to apply a public health approach to address behavioral health needs. We will provide examples of place-based behavioral health programs implemented throughout the city, including the largest Mental Health First Aid program in the US. Researchers from the Drexel School of Public Health will discuss evaluation challenges, successes, and methodological approaches to capturing the population-level impact of the city-wide MHFA program. We hope to demonstrate population-level behavioral health programs require making and measuring change one community at a time, to reduce mental health stigma and build community resilience to ensure every resident’s well-being and network of support.
Session Objectives: Describe the conceptual framework and principles of a public health approach to address widespread behavioral health needs. Discuss place-based behavioral health initiatives a municipal health department can implement to create positive change at a population level. Discuss the challenges in evaluating the impact of a population-level behavioral health intervention such as the Mental Health First Aid program.
Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, MPH


See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Community Health Planning and Policy Development
Endorsed by: Injury Control and Emergency Health Services, APHA-Committee on Women's Rights

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH) , Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)