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PHR Article of the Week: Executive Perspective – What is Behavioral Health Worth?

In the latest issue of Public Health Reports, January/February 2015, Dr. Pamela S. Hyde and Ms. Kana Enomoto, of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, review the heavy burden of behavioral health disorders in the United States, recent progress made in prevention and treatment, and six steps needed to make further headway.


The behavioral health field has much to celebrate. In the past few years, there have been many advances in the science about what works to prevent, treat, and support recovery from mental and substance use disorders. Whether through domestic efforts (e.g., President Obama’s Now Is the Time plan to increase access to mental health services) or international efforts (e.g., the United Nations’ International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking to increase awareness that drug use disorders are preventable and treatable), mental health and substance abuse issues have emerged from the shadows onto a global stage. These developments should make patients, providers, researchers, policy makers, and other stakeholders feel good about the progress that has been made. But we would be unwise to rest on our laurels, because the job is far from done. Americans still undervalue behavioral health.

This week’s PHR feature article, Executive Perspective – What is Behavioral Health Worth? will be open access through January 30.

The official journal of the U.S. Public Health Service and the U.S. Surgeon General since 1878, PHR serves as an informative and accessible resource for practitioners, professors, scholars, and students of public health. Published in collaboration with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), the bi-monthly, peer-reviewed journal provides important research and presents key discussions on the major issues confronting the public health community. For full access to current content, visit the Public Health Reports website to subscribe.