October 10, 2022
Mental Health Awareness Week to be observed
MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile County Health Department’s Health Equity Office (HEO) is observing Mental Health Awareness Week from October 10th to 14th.
Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. However, mental illness affects everyone directly or indirectly through family, friends, or coworkers.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health in America saw a rapid decline. Now that the pandemic is almost over, it is vital to examine if it is improving.
Here are some key facts from the National Alliance on Mental Illness:
• 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
• 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
• 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
“The HEO team has partnered internally with our Behavioral Health, Training & Development, and Communications offices as well as externally with Veterans Recovery Resources to provide mental health resources to our MCHD/Family Health family,” said Dr. Kevin Michaels, Health Officer for Mobile County.
Family Health, the primary care division of MCHD, oversees the Behavioral Health program. Its mission is to enhance the quality of life among citizens of local communities and surrounding areas. Through collaboration with a team of providers, Behavioral Health services are integrated into the treatment planning process to maximize mental and physical well-being while minimizing and preventing health risks for all patients served.
Veterans Recovery Resources is based in Mobile. Their mission is to accelerate mental well-being for veterans, first responders, and their families by removing barriers to care and by providing a unique program for their clients suffering from substance abuse, post-traumatic stress, and other mental issues.
MCHD established a leadership-level Health Equity Office in 2021 to address health disparities in Mobile County. Funding came from the National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities Among Populations at High-Risk and Underserved, Including Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations and Rural Communities.
The HEO team is responsible for evaluating internal and external programs and policies, identifying weaknesses, and laying a foundation for serving vulnerable communities through a health equity lens.