Counties are a significant contributor to supporting and maintaining the health and well-being of residents and annual invest over invest $83 billion in community health systems, including behavioral health services. Through 750 health authorities and community providers, county governments plan and operate community-based services for people with mental illness and substance use disorders. Behavioral health care is an important service that becomes even more critical during a crisis. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, counties are implementing changes to policy and practice to continue assisting individuals managing mental illness and/or substance use disorders. More and more, counties are exploring remote service delivery to meet needs while complying with social distancing directives.
Addressing the needs of individuals managing mental illness and substance use disorders remains a critical component to mitigating the short- and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this crisis, counties will continue to play a significant role in providing vital behavioral health services to maintain the health and wellbeing of people in need of mental health and substance abuse treatment.