Mayor David Briley signed an Executive Order in early May establishing a Community Behavioral Health and Wellness Advisory Council — a group of community experts who will advise the Mayor in setting priorities around issues of behavioral health, mental illness and substance abuse.
“The number of families impacted by a mental or behavioral health condition or experiencing substance abuse is staggering, while stigma and a fragmented system of care make it very hard to achieve wellness. The work of this collaborative Council is critical. It will raise awareness to reduce stigma, and it will improve navigation and access to care to reduce suffering,” said Mayor Briley.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 5 American adults live with a mental health condition and less than half receive treatment. Severe depression among youth has also significantly increased in recent years and, fueled by the opioid epidemic, substance abuse is rising dramatically. In fact, overdose deaths now exceed deaths from homicide and motor vehicle accidents combined, and overdose has become the leading cause of death for Americans under age 50.