Mental Health From A Public Health Perspective


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This presentation from the Washington State Department of Health to the TWG at their April 21, 2006 meeting, looks
at the relations and connections between public health and mental health.

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  • Mental Health From A Public Health Perspective

    1. 1. Mental Health from a Public Health Perspective Presentation to the Mental Health Transformation Working Group April 21, 2006 Patty Hayes, Assistant Secretary, Division of Community and Family Health, Department of Health
    2. 2. Public Health – What’s it all about? <ul><li>Everybody’s health – not just people who are sick </li></ul><ul><li>Helping people stay healthy – not just treating them when they’re sick </li></ul><ul><li>Helping communities help people stay healthy </li></ul>
    3. 3. How does public health describe “mental health”? <ul><li>It’s about all of us, not just people with mental illness </li></ul><ul><li>Relationships – connection with people </li></ul><ul><li>Response – behavior, expression of thoughts and feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Resilience – dealing with thoughts, feelings and what happens to us </li></ul>
    4. 4. A Public Health Approach to Mental Health <ul><li>Decreasing risk factors </li></ul><ul><li>Mental Health examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Poverty, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Family violence/child abuse, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social isolation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Increasing protective factors </li></ul><ul><li>Mental Health examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social support of family and friends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connected to school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Healthy brain development in infancy </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. A Public Health Approach to Mental Health (cont.) <ul><li>Promotion – for everyone </li></ul><ul><li>Prevention – for people with risk factors </li></ul><ul><li>Early Intervention – at the first sign of a problem </li></ul><ul><li>Treatment – where there is a diagnosis </li></ul>
    6. 6. How does public health help people stay healthy?
    7. 7. Strengthening Individual Knowledge & Skills <ul><li>First Steps works with low income pregnant women to promote healthy pregnancies and birth outcomes – including identifying and dealing with depression. </li></ul><ul><li>WIC Nutrition Program provides nutrition information and food vouchers to families with low incomes. (low income and poor nutrition are mental health risk factors) </li></ul>
    8. 8. Promoting Community Education <ul><li>DOH has been sharing the results of our children’s mental health needs assessment at regional Maternal and Child Health meetings across the state. </li></ul><ul><li>Nutrition and Physical Activity Program works to improve access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity. (physical activity is a mental health protective factor) </li></ul>
    9. 9. Educating Providers <ul><li>Child care health consultants provide information to child care providers of infants and toddlers about promoting social emotional development and dealing with challenging behaviors in a nurturing way. </li></ul><ul><li>Bright Futures Mental Health training was provided to school nurses. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Fostering Coalitions and Networks <ul><li>DOH is a member of the Mental Health Transformation Working Group. </li></ul><ul><li>DOH staff participate on the Children’s Subcommittee of the Mental Health Planning and Advisory Committee. </li></ul><ul><li>DOH staff convenes Partnerships for Promoting Children’s Mental Health. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Changing Organizational Practices <ul><li>DOH is promoting discussion within the agency and with local health jurisdictions about the connections between public health and mental health. </li></ul><ul><li>The Office of Maternal and Child Health has identified “optimal mental health and healthy relationships” as one of its priority outcomes. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Influencing Policy and Legislation <ul><li>DOH staff provided information to advocates working on a bill to provide mental health consultation in child care settings. </li></ul>