New PI infographic provides community-oriented solutions to the drug, alcohol, and suicide crisis described in the recently released report, Pain in the Nation
Last week, Trust for America’s Health and Well Being Trust released Pain in the Nation: The Drug, Alcohol and Suicide Crises and the Need for a National Resilience Strategy. The groundbreaking report, which was covered in USA Today and elsewhere, documents the national drug, alcohol, and suicide crisis responsible for one million deaths over the past decade.
The report calls for a national resilience strategy to transform the conditions that underlie this tragic public health crisis. This is the very approach Prevention Institute presents in our new infographic, Mental Health: A Path Forward, which shows how we can transform our communities to enable people to cope, heal, and thrive by addressing the community determinants associated with mental health and wellbeing.
Community-based prevention has a proven track record when it comes to saving lives and improving health and wellbeing. We increasingly know what to do and need to build on what works. That means investing in the factors that ensure all our communities are healthy, safe, and vibrant places to live—places of connection and opportunity.
The approaches outlined in the infographic—and discussed at greater length in our recent report, Back to Our Roots: Catalyzing Community Action for Mental Health and Wellbeing—call for the nation to move ‘upstream’ to address the sources of despair that lead to substance misuse, addiction, overdose, and death in communities where hope and a sense of opportunity need to be restored. It emphasizes the value of social support, affordable housing and job opportunities, as well as the need to strengthen ‘pillars of wellbeing’ like belonging/ connectedness, dignity, safety, and trust. Back to Our Roots and the Path Forward infographic were funded by the Blue Shield of California Foundation.
The response to this national crisis must expand in its reach and imagination. Pain in the Nation describes a number of policies and programs to improve mental wellbeing, including the Making Connections Initiative, which is supported by the Movember Foundation.
To get ahead of this epidemic, we need strategies that focus on sowing resilience and strengthening the fabric of community life to work hand-in-hand with treatment and recovery services.