Giving Compass’ Take:
• Health Affairs discusses a recent report that lays out recommendations for how we can address the addiction and mental health crises in this country through policies and investments.
• The main takeaway is that foundations and funders shouldn’t be afraid to fail. Only through risk-taking and empathy will we come up with sustainable solutions for those who are suffering.
In 2017, Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and Well Being Trust embarked on a joint effort to advance policy solutions to the drug, alcohol, and suicide epidemics. The first product of this partnership was a report, Pain in the Nation: The Drug, Alcohol and Suicide Epidemics and the Need for a National Resilience Strategy, funded by Well Being Trust and the RWJF, and published by TFAH.
That report focuses specifically on practice and policy solutions to reduce deaths from drugs, alcohol, and suicide — ranging from expanding the use and availability of rescue drugs, sterile syringes, and diversion programs, to limiting hours and density of alcohol sales, to supporting state suicide prevention plans, to expanding social-emotional learning and mental health services in schools.
The following highlights specific actions mentioned in the report that could be taken to solve some of the problems around substance misuse and mental health.
- Investing in prevention and creating more resilient families and communities must be a higher policy priority — especially for foundations.
- Foundations can be instrumental in helping their communities create consistent standards for identifying and treating mental health and substance misuse for multiple conditions and across community and clinical delivery settings.
- We must make accessing services for mental health and substance misuse conditions easier and make services more affordable for everyone.
To truly move the needle, we must be policy-influencers and advocates. Foundations can harness the power of our endowments through impact investing — using our knowledge of the financial world to ensure that everyone can realize their fullest potential.
Read the full article about fighting substance abuse and promoting mental health by Benjamin F. Miller and Anne De Biasi at Health Affairs.
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