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Moving the country to a population mental health system of care

Partnership between CredibleMind and the National Association of County and City Health Officials

Dr. Deryk Van Brunt, associate clinical professor of biostatistics at UC Berkeley School of Public Health, has announced a partnership between his digital mental healthcare company, CredibleMind, and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).

Last month, Van Brunt and NACCHO launched Behavioral Health 360, a platform designed to provide self-care for mental health and wellbeing through websites for different communities. The program is self-led mental health care, rather than traditional behavioral healthcare where treatment suggestions come from a clinician after an in-person or online assessment. The program focuses on early intervention tools to reduce mental health problems and substance use disorders.

“We’re in a national mental health crisis,” Van Brunt said. “We can’t solely clinically treat our way out of this problem—there aren’t enough therapists.”

The shortage is especially critical in rural areas, three-quarters of which are considered mental health professional desserts, he added.

Behavioral Health 360 hopes to fill the gap by offering online content and tools to help individuals assess their mental health risks, find self-treatment options, and find therapists or physicians when needed, while simultaneously promoting information-sharing among public health officials. The program can be considered a “giant triage system” through which individuals in a community can find the right level of resources and services they need, depending on age, acuity, insurance, and other factors, said Van Brunt.

“We’re a one-stop shop for evidence-based self-care for mental health and well being,” Van Brunt said. “Add this to the clinical work we are already doing, and we can move the country to a true population mental health system of care.”

Van Brunt co-founded CredibleMind in 2018 with Marcos Athanasoulis, who he met while the two were graduate students at Berkeley Public Health.

Lee Tremmel Freeman, chief executive of NACCHO, said “this partnership signifies a turning point in addressing mental health and wellness at a local level across the United States.”

People of BPH found in this article include: