This webinar discusses what it means to take a public health approach to the wellness of people with behavioral health conditions, community factors that impact their well-being, and how community resources and programs can positively impact them. Shelina Foderingham and Nick Szubiack of the National Council for Behavioral Health and Jennifer Ludwig of the Tri-County Health Department in Colorado participate in the webinar as guest speakers.

Addressing public health involves protecting and promoting the health of people and the communities in which they reside. This differs from providing health care in that public health broadly encourages healthy behavior and risk reduction in a proactive manner, rather than remedying an individual’s emerging or existing health problems. Because negative social determinants of health, such as lack of transportation access or poor availability of affordable healthy food, affect the well-being of individuals with behavioral health issues, public health resources meant to address these issues must take social determinants into account. The speakers discuss these social determinants and how their programs are designed to address them. Nick Szubiack discusses his work in Hawaii with the West Hawaii Community Health Center and how it addressed the challenge of limited child and adolescent psychiatrists. By creating clinical pathways with providers, their public health approach helped identify children with behavioral health conditions in need of evaluation and treatment. Primary care providers, psychiatrists, and community organizations all became involved in the health of the community.

The webinar concludes with a discussion of evidence-based practices and strategies for providing patients with adequate care. This resource is most valuable to community-based organizations focused on public health that serve individuals with behavioral health conditions in need of wellness and health services. Guidance and examples in this webinar can help guide the plans and procedures of public health organizations and care providers so that individuals with behavioral health conditions do not fall through any gaps in receiving services.

This resource was first shared in 2017.

(Presentation, YouTube)