Maya H. Pack, MS, MPA, the Associate Director of Research & Strategic Initiatives at the South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health (IMPH), explored the relationship between Collective Action and South Carolina’s Behavioral Health Systems in this presentation. There is a clear link between substance abuse and mental illness. With over $57 billion dollars per year going towards behavioral health care costs in the United States, rising rates of suicide that outpace deaths resulting from car accidents, and more than 28,000 opioid- and heroin-related deaths in the United States each year, it is clear that there is a need for robust and substantial behavioral systems.
The IMPH released a report on May 6, 2015, titled “Hope For Tomorrow: The Collective Approach for Transforming South Carolina’s Behavioral Health Systems”. The institute emphasizes that behavioral health care should be as accessible as care for physical illnesses, especially considering the impact of behavioral health issues on a community’s overall health. Further, IMPH envisions a system in which all residents of South Carolina will have equal access to quality behavioral health services, regardless of means.