Prescription for Wellness


 

Preliminary Recommendations:

The preliminary planning recommendations listed below are based upon literature, data for Austin/Travis County, a community forum, focus groups, input from community members, and the Adult Mental Health Planning Partnership. These recommendations attempt to address the needs of adults with mental disorders, and the community to improve public mental health in Austin/Travis County.

Develop a focused community education campaign to promote general awareness of adult mental health as a local public health issue: Collaborate with local chambers of commerce, employer organizations, media, providers of services and supports, universities, and other entities that are appropriate to provide education on reducing stigma, suicide prevention, breaking down barriers, increasing employment opportunities, adding housing options in the community, diverting persons with mental illness (when appropriate) from the criminal justice system, co-occurring mental health and substance abuse issues, successfulness of new generation medications, and beneficial treatments and best practices.

Increase access to and coordination of quality adult mental healthcare services: Identify capacity and need of the public and private mental health system in Travis County to identify specific needs and costs. Utilize the Adult Mental Health Partnership to plan and coordinate a comprehensive plan to increase access and coordination of quality services.

  • Increase the availability of safe and affordable housing and supports: Develop new opportunities to meet the needs of adults with mental disorders that choose to live independently but cannot afford housing and/or need supports.
  • Increase the opportunity for employment through training and support programs or services: Collaborate with existing vocational rehabilitation and supported employment organizations in the community to identify specific strategies to educate, train, and support consumers to find and maintain employment. Also, educate, train, and support potential and existing employers to understand the benefits and available workforce that can be provided by adults with mental disorders.
  • Implement best practice models in the community: Develop new and evaluate existing adult mental health programs, services, or processes with available research and expert opinion to determine effective models. Implement systems of accountability with uniform outcome measures across providers to identify trends, efficiencies and effective use of resources thereby ensuring community investments are used most wisely.
  • Plan of action to address mental health treatment needs of a growing elderly population: Develop a comprehensive approach to addressing the growing needs of older adults to include prevention and treatment strategies.
  • Improve consistency, availability and quality of data within the community: Coordinate with consumers of mental health services, local mental health organizations, advocates, funders, and community leaders to identify and select Travis County mental health indicators that can be tracked and analyzed to evaluate the mental health of the community and make improved planning decisions.

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