Mental and behavioral health problems impact one in every five Americans and almost half do not seek treatment (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2002; U.S. Surgeon General, 2001).
The terms mental and behavioral health are both used to describe psychological disorders. The term behavioral health is sometimes thought to be less stigmatizing and more hopeful.
Mental illnesses are often overwhelming to families. Family members may experience sadness, frustration, and isolation. The stigma surrounding mental illness is often a barrier to consumers and families in seeking the help they need. In the last decade there have been many improvements in the treatment and management of mental health disorders. Efforts are also being made to reduce the stigma involved in these disorders.
The Community Service Council provides leadership in addressing some of the challenges of mental and behavioral health disorders by providing community education and promoting informed decisions about public policy and funding. CSC provides opportunities for providers, families, consumers, and other interested agencies to share experiences, needs, and expertise in identifying priorities for systemic change.
In November 2005, the Community Service Council presented a community study of child developmental and behavioral health in Tulsa County. This study identified needs, key challenges, strengths, and opportunities relative to building a strong community-wide commitment to health promotion and effective treatment.
In response to the study, and in collaboration with the Tulsa Systems of Care Project, the Tulsa Children’s Behavioral Health Community Team was developed to provide leadership to build a strong community-wide commitment to health promotion and effective treatment. The Team became an initiative of the Community Service Council.
Today, the Community Team, now the Tulsa Partnership for Children’s Behavioral Health, continues to provide community-based planning and mobilization to improve behavioral health of children in the Tulsa area. It promotes attention of community leaders from all sectors to the development of policies and practices to increase healthy child development and assure non-fragmented assistance to children, youth, and their families.