December 11, 2017

Behavioral Health Action Team Meets Dec. 8

Behavioral Health Action Team

The Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership is planning a meeting of the Behavioral Health Action Team from 2 to 3:30 pm Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, at the St. Mary’s County Health Department in Leonardtown. MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital supports the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership.

The Behavioral Health Action Team is dedicated to improving behavioral health outcomes in St. Mary’s County, including those related to mental health and substance abuse prevention and control. A variety of organizations and individuals are working together to collaboratively implement evidence-based strategies that will improve behavioral health for county residents.

Mental health and physical health are closely linked. Mental health status influences a person’s ability to maintain good physical health. Illnesses such as depression and anxiety may affect people’s ability to participate in health-promoting behaviors. Conversely, problems with physical health, such as chronic diseases, may impact mental health and decrease a person’s ability to participate in treatment and recovery.

Get involved. New members are always welcome to join the Behavioral Health Action Team. To be notified of upcoming events and meetings, please sign up for membership in the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership and indicate “Behavioral Health” as your interest.

While numerous behavioral health issues are being addressed in the Healthy St. Mary’s 2020 Plan, three objectives with associated indicators are being considered.

Mental health problems can place a heavy burden on the health care system, particularly when people in crisis use emergency departments instead of other sources of care when available. Reducing the rate of emergency department visits related to behavioral health conditions will be an indicator of successful implementation of many of the team’s evidence-based strategies to support those with behavioral health needs.

In Maryland, suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens ages 15 to 19. Reducing the percentage of high school students who seriously consider attempting suicide is one of several objectives addressing the needs of adolescents in the county.

Drug abuse among adolescents is a persistent challenge in St. Mary’s County. The Behavioral Health Action Team is implementing multiple strategies to decrease illicit drug use by youth in the county.

For more information and one-click access to a list of resources available at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, visit its Leader member page.

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