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Mayors' Resource Guide on Behavioral Health Issues

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2014
17 pages

This resource guide assists mayors and other municipal leaders in providing leadership and support for constituents' "behavioral health," which refers to both mental health and substance use as often inter-related disorders.


In the section on "What You (the Mayor) Can Do to Engage Your Community," guidance is provided on reducing health care costs; emergency department use; prescription drug misuse; absenteeism from work and school; special education costs; and crime. Other suggestions pertain to preventing child maltreatment and the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use; and guidance is offered for improving academic achievement, the community environment, community partnerships, family stability, and wages and productivity. Community conversations on mental health are encouraged, using a SAMHSA toolkit. "Potential Next Steps" are outlined for assessing needs related to community behavioral health; building capacity to meet those needs; planning interventions; and conducting evaluations of interventions. The following events that could be conducted to engage the community in behavioral health are described: National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day; National Prevention Week and Substance Abuse Prevention Week; National Wellness Week; National Recovery Month; and Mental Illness Awareness Week. Suggested resources for promoting behavioral health in a community are presented under the topics of prevention/promotion, treatment resources, and recovery support. An appendix poses questions and answers on frequently asked questions about mental health.