Improving Behavioral Health
Supporting behavioral health is crucial to improving well-being, saving lives and ensuring cost effective service delivery in Washington State. Behavioral Health covers the full range of mental and emotional well-being from day-to-day challenges of life, to treating mental health and substance use disorders. In 2016, approximately 12 percent of Washington adults self-reported experiencing poor mental health for 14 or more days during the month before interview on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. In addition, substance use disorder continues to be a significant problem in Washington State: deaths involving opioids grew from 5.7 per 100,000 residents in 2002-2004 to 10.1 during 2015-2017. Addressing both mental health and substance use disorders are vital to creating a healthier Washington.
Keeping children and teens healthy and safe while reducing the costs of substance abuse to communities are our highest priorities. Our prevention and intervention goals are to delay and prevent the misuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, reduce the negative consequences of substance use, and prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug dependency.
2a. Substance use disorder : Patterns of substance use can cause or aggravate various issues. This includes problems at school, mental health related issues, family stress, and poor peer relationships. By reducing the instances of youth substance use we can also reduce the likelihood of these long term negative impacts.
2b. Mental Health: Mental health is important to overall health. Mental disorders are chronic health conditions that can impact someone throughout their life. Early diagnosis and treatment is key to understanding how to treat the disorders and reduce the impact on home, school, and forming friendships.
3. Recovery options:
Recovery is defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as "a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential." With effective treatments and support services, people can and do recover from addiction and mental health disorders.
Treating behavioral health needs requires close partnerships and a new level of coordination between the Health Care Authority, Department of Social and Health Services, Department of Health, the state hospitals, managed care organizations, communities and providers of health care services and social supports.
Listed below are a sample of statewide behavioral health services available to Washingtonians that provide prevention, treatment, and recovery options.