Behavioral health is promoting well-being by preventing or intervening in mental illness such as depression, or anxiety, along with preventing or intervening with substance abuse or other addictions. There is a need to increase the public’s awareness and understanding how one’s behavioral health impacts their overall physical health. Seeking behavioral health services too often is still viewed as a stigma in families and communities.
In recent years, Marathon County, like communities across the state and nation, are recognizing the benefit of having a continuum of services and treatment options for mental health, alcohol and other substance abuse, and other addictions (gambling, pornography).
There is a realization of the need for collaborative, innovative solutions to explore models of care and service across the continuum of care, settings and lifespan. Schools and mental health providers have begun to work together to look at shared service models, that integrate behavioral health services within schools. This model of care is seen as promising for schools and child care providers, as a strategy to increase access for services.
The current system of care and services is often disjointed at multiple levels. Collaborative efforts are occurring to address access gaps in services and provide a solid foundation to build upon. Benefits could be gained in having the general public know how to access services and utilize community resource guides. In addition, health care providers need a referral system to link patients to community services.
To further efforts, there is a need of a common understanding of what is ‘behavioral health’ for the general public, community organizations and health care providers. Recognizing ‘behavioral health’ as a community health priority for the first time in Marathon County is significant to seize opportunities as a community.
Promote well-being by preventing or intervening in mental illness such as depression or anxiety, along with preventing or intervening in substance abuse or other addictions.
- Increase the public’s awareness of the importance of good mental well-being and community services available to support their mental well-being.
- Improve alcohol & other drug abuse and mental health treatment services.
- Further integrate behavioral health within the delivery of health care.
- Average number of poor mental health days reported by Marathon County in the past 30 days. Baseline: 2014 – 3.3 days. Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Survey System, 2015 County Health Rankings.
- Percentage of high school students in Marathon County who describe their mental health as not good, during the past 30 days before the survey, three days or more. Baseline: 2015 – 28.8%. Source: Marathon County Youth Risk Behavior Survey (.pdf).
- Percentage of high school students in Marathon who felt so sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks in a row that they stopped doing some usual activities during the 12 months before the survey. Source: Marathon County Youth Risk Behavior Survey (.pdf).
- Percentage of LIFE Report community survey respondents who reported not seeing a mental health provider when needed. Baseline: 2015 – 8%. Source: 2015-2017 LIFE Report (.pdf).