Tanner Bommersbach, MD, MPH, a first-year resident in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, is the first author of a paper published in the American Journal of Public Health that outlines opportunities for collaboration between public health and behavioral health.
According to the authors, "The rise of the opioid epidemic and the increasing rate of suicides have drawn attention to mental health and addiction and have highlighted the need for collaboration between public health and behavioral health. However, these two fields have had limited engagement with one another.
"The introduction of Public Health 3.0 and population-based financing models that promote prevention and value in health care have created opportunities and incentives for local health departments and behavioral health agencies and providers to work together. New undertakings include the creation of accountable care organizations, community health needs assessment requirements for all non-profit hospitals, local health department requirements to conduct community Health Assessments (CHA), and increasing numbers of public health departments that are pursing accreditation. We argue that by taking advantage of these opportunities and others, local health departments can play a vital role in addressing critical challenges in mental health and addiction facing their communities."