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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.

Factors Impacting Behavioral Health

1. Prevention:

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.

2. Treatment:

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.

What We are Doing to Deliver Results

Performance Dashboard

Outcome Measure: Youth Substance Use - 10th Grade

Source; Healthy Youth Survey
Survey Q # During the past 30 days, on how many days did you:
                - Drink a glass, can, or bottle of alcohol (beer, wine, wine collers, hard liquor)?
                - Use marijuana or hashish  (weed, hash, pot)?
1. Prevention: Sad/Hopeless and Suicide Ideation - 10th Grade

Source: Healthy Youth Survey

Survey Q: During the past 12 months, did you ever feel so sad or hopeless almost everyday for two weeks or more in a row that you stopped doing soe usual activities?

Survey Q: During the past 12 months, did you ever seriously consider attempting suicide?

2a. Treatment: Substance Use treatment penetration rate for Medicaid beneficiaries

Source: Healthier Washington dashboard

Measurement period: 04/01/2017 - 03/31/2018

Percent of Medicaid beneficiaries aged 12 and older with a substance use disorder treatment need identified within the past two years, who received at least one qualifying subtsance use disorder treatment during the measurement year.

2b. Treatment: Mental Health treatment penetration rate for Medicaid beneficiaries

Source: Healthier Washington dashboard 

Measurement period: 04/01/2017 - 03/31/2018

Percent of Medicaid beneficiaries, aged 6 and older with a mental health service need identified within the past two years, who recieved at least one qualifying service during the measurement year.

3. Recovery option: Follow up to Emergency Department visit for Medicaid patients for mental health issue for Medicaid beneficiaries

Source: Healthier Washington dashboard 

Measurement period: 04/01/2017 - 03/31/2018

Percentage of emergency department (ED) visits for eligible Medicaid beneficiaries 6 years of age and older with a principal diagnosis of mental illness, who had a follow-up visit for mental illness within 30 days.