Enhancing Behavioral Health Access

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Persons with mental illness and addiction have some of the direst needs in our community. People with mental health and addiction issues have a shorter lifespan and are often regularly engaged in our criminal justice system, compounding the challenges of successful recovery. This population also tends to be one of the most expensive, with much of that expense stemming from the lack of a connection between traditional medicine and the often underfunded behavioral health delivery system.

Individuals struggling with mental health and addiction challenges not only face a tremendous amount stigma, but they also receive their care from a fragmented and disconnected delivery system that used to rely on institutionalization as its main solution. Most Americans, directly or indirectly, experience behavioral health challenges at some point in their lives. For some, it’s a life-long struggle that drains resources and fractures families.

In a state where mental illness is highly prevalent and overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death, Ohio cannot afford to allow a disjointed system to continue. Not only does this lead to poor outcomes for those suffering from these conditions, but it also is cost-prohibitive to the public systems that support this population.

Community Solutions focuses on developing answers to some of the most difficult problems we face. By looking at state efforts to redesign the system, advancing policies which protect lives and avoid overdoses, as well as generating content focused on system delivery improvements, we strive to enhance access and create the conditions for successful integration of the medical and behavioral health systems.

Through its work, Community Solutions unpacks some of this complexity, developing opportunities for all participants in this system to learn from one another, thereby making the system more effective and efficient. See what we’re doing to improve the behavioral health system.