Let’s Be Active (Feb 20, 2014)

Let’s Be Active

Promoting increased involvement within one’s family or community.

           We need to be active collaborators to improve mental health.  The recognized duty is present in the relationship between health professionals with their patients.  The financial burden is present by American citizens and medical payers, including the U.S. government.  The largest burden is on family and friends who witness health outcomes that result from stigmatized mental health care.  Increased medical community involvement in treatment collaboration efforts is one method of being more active in population mental health outcomes.  Whether primary care provider, public health advocate, or family member, all of us have a role promoting better mental health. 

           Primary care providers (PCP) see the majority of mental health patients with focused individual improvement as their goal (Shim & Rust, 2013).  Electronic health record (EHR) programs provide comprehensive evaluation and interdisciplinary team management strategies for treatment including mental health specialty care (Shim & Rust, 2013).  The Affordable Care Act (ACA) supports the PCP model for primary management with EHR-based patient-centered medical homes (Shim & Rust, 2013). 

           Health promotion advocates in public health share the determination to prevent disease, disability, or death from mental health.  Mental health illness globally is the second largest disease and disability burden (Shim & Rust, 2013).  Severe mental illness shortens life by an average of 25 years (Shim & Rust, 2013).  A whole-person approach with screening and early treatment leads to reduced stigma, improved patient treatment engagement, and improved overall health metrics by preventing long-term mental health effects (Shim & Rust, 2013). 

           Family members and friends effectively reduce health risks, like usage of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.  They are beneficial to fostering healthy life style habits for sleep hygiene, physical activity, nutrition, and development of healthy relationships (Shim & Rust, 2013).  Improving one’s general health improves one’s mental health. 

           Promoting healthy life styles using the whole-person approach improves individual, community, population, and global mental health.  Reduction in mental health contributes to improved overall health and wellness, improved mortality rates, decreased disability, and decreased costs.  We should all be so fortunate to help each other to live well, longer, with less cost and disability.


Shim, R., & Rust, G. (2013). Primary care, behavioral health, and public health: Partners in reducing mental health stigma. American Journal of Public Health, 103(5), 774-776.  http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2013.301214

Image Reference:

From GoodReads.com, (2014). Jamie Paolinetti quotes. Retrieved from http://www.goodreads.com/quaotes/543811-limitations-live-only-in-our-minds-but-if-we-use



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