Behavioral health refers to both mental health and substance use, encompassing a continuum of prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery support services. It is the promotion of well-being by preventing or intervening in mental illness, excessive substance use and substance use disorders. The Violence and Injury Prevention ‒ Mental Health Promotion (VIP-MHP) Branch prioritizes behavioral health along with healthy social norms, economic stability and supports and connectedness, to build community resilience and prevent multiple forms of violence and injury.
VIP-MHP measures behavioral health through risk or protective factors that are common across multiple outcomes like substance abuse and violence and injury prevention. Those factors may include:
- Weak educational, economic, and social policies/laws.
- Density of outlets that sell alcohol or marijuana.
- Access to mental health and substance abuse services.
- Poor behavioral control/impulsiveness.
- Witnessing violence and/or history of violent victimization.
- Psychological mental health problems.
- Community or social norms that encourage substance use and/or discourage seeking help.
By working toward behavioral health as a shared priority, the following programs leverage resources to address upstream risk and protective factors, and prevent multiple forms of violence and injury at once. While the VIP-MHP Branch primarily works at the societal and community/organizational levels, the branch also collaborates with partners working at the individual and interpersonal levels of the model.
VIP-MHP Programs that Prioritize Behavioral Health:
- Office of Suicide Prevention.
- Child Fatality Prevention System.
- Retail Marijuana Education and Prevention.
- Communities That Care.
- Sexual Violence Prevention.
- Motor Vehicle Safety.
- Excessive Alcohol Use Epidemiology and Prevention.
- Essentials for Childhood.
- Opioid Overdose Prevention.