Maryland’s Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention Network (MD-SPIN) is expanding its continuum of trainings, resources, and technical assistance to advance the development of a comprehensive mental wellness initiative through a prevention and early intervention system approach for Marylanders across the lifespan.
- Promote improved mental health of general population
- Promote improved mental health of “at risk” populations.
- Reduce incidence of mental illness in population.
- Minimize the impact that mental health problems and illnesses have on individuals, communities, and society.
Plan for Year 1:
- Collect relevant data measuring indicators of mental health from existing data sources.
- Research data collected by other states and countries to measure indicators of mental health in the general populations.
- Create plan for implementing regional/jurisdictional focus groups to inventory mental health promotion activities, opinions on what gaps exist in mental health promotion activities, and how existing gaps could be closed.
- Partner with LBHA’s to conduct focus groups.
According to national data, 1 in 5 adult’s experiences a mental illness1 and the average delay between symptom onset and treatment is 11 years2. By age 14, 50% of all lifetime mental illness is diagnosed which increases to 75% of lifetime mental illness being diagnosed by age 243. Approximately 1 in 8 of all visits to U.S. emergency departments are related to mental and substance use disorders4. According to data from National Alliance on Mental Illness, 19% of U.S. adults with mental illness also have a substance use disorder4. It is estimated that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion each year in lost productivity4.
As of 2014 in Maryland, the prevalence of serious mental illness among adults in the year prior was 3.3%, while 11.3% of youth have had at least one major depressive episode in the prior year7. Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that 45% of Maryland adults served through the state Mental Health Authority had a co-occurring mental health and substance use disorder compared to 25.4% of adults in the US5 7.4% of Maryland children served by the state Mental Health Authority had a co-occurring substance use disorder compared to 6.2% nationally5.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years) and these experiences have been linked to risky healthy behaviors, chronic health conditions, low life potential and early death. The ACE survey was included as part of the 2015 Maryland Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), to capture the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences among adults. The data for Maryland shows that 24.1% of adults had a total score of 3 or more ACES6. As the number of adverse childhood experiences increase, the risk for negative outcomes also increases. Based on data collected in the 2017 BRFSS in Maryland, 10.9% of adults indicated that their mental health was not good for 3 to 7 days of the past 30 days, and 9.8% of adults indicated that their mental health was not good for 8 days or more. While 6.5% of adults indicated that their poor physical or mental health kept them from usual activities for 3 to 7 days out of the past 306.
One initiative that may be piloted in Maryland is the Youth Aware of Mental Health Program (YAM). The Youth Aware of Mental Health Program (YAM) is a skill-building school based intervention targeting high-school age students. Through the 4 week curriculum students are provided with mental health psychoeducation, role-play sessions with interactive workshops and educational resources which aim to change student’s negative perceptions of mental illness and improve coping skills. A study on the YAM curriculum found a significant difference in the rate of severe suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in children that had participated in the YAM program compared to control schools that received no intervention. At the 12 month follow-up, students involved in the YAM program reported a reduction in suicide attempts by 55%. Students who participated in YAM also reported a reduction in severe suicidal ideation (which includes planning) by 50%8. Maryland BHA is partnering with local school systems to pilot this program in local high schools.