Historically, mental health has been viewed as primarily a matter of individual health. Just as we have come to understand the role of social, economic and environmental factors in physical health, there is growing awareness of the social determinants of mental health. Mental health and physical health are deeply interconnected by complex pathways. How we experience and respond to stress, toxic stress, trauma and adverse childhood experiences can impact our vulnerability to and resilience in the face of both chronic and infectious disease. Communities across the nation have identified mental health as an unmet need and a high priority during the community health needs assessment process. Interventions to improve mental health and well-being may increase individual resilience, improve problem-solving skills and enhance social connection and cohesion.
This research focuses on legal and policy interventions to promote mental health and well-being. The law provides tools to improve health by addressing physical, social and economic factors that influence health outcomes at the population level.
Network attorneys are available to answer questions on this and other public health topics at no cost to you, and can assist you in using law to advance your public health initiatives. Contact a Network Attorney in your area for more information.