MOBILE, Ala. (PRWEB) May 18, 2020
Decades of studies have shown the life expectancy for people living with serious mental illness is 25 years less than the rest of the population. Contributing factors include deficits in primary and preventative medical care, lack of health insurance, under-recognition of illness, inadequate treatment, the individual’s resistance to care, and being compliant with treatment. For many of the same reasons, people with mental illness are twice as likely to spend more time behind bars.
As a behavioral healthcare provider, AltaPointe Health must help find solutions to reverse high mortality and incarceration rates.
The Stepping Up Initiative is one program put in motion to turn the tides. AltaPointe partnered with the Alabama Department of Mental Health for guidance and technical support. Stepping Up is a national initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails. It links individuals to treatment and resources using a community approach in hopes of breaking the cycle of repeat incarceration of mentally ill people. Case managers identify individuals who are not a threat to the community but have frequent contact with law enforcement and local emergency departments.
The month of May is deemed a month of action for the Stepping Up Initiative. To raise awareness about the initiative and promote good physical health for people with mental illness, AltaPointe plans to hold a Zumbathon. It will take place Monday, May 18, at Medal of Honor Park in Mobile at the Pavillon from 6 p.m to 7:30 p.m.
Launched in May 2015 by the National Association of Counties, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, more than 425 counties across 43 states have signed on to join the Stepping Up Initiative. For more information on AltaPointe’s Stepping Up Initiative, you can call (251) 327-0794.
AltaPointe Health is Alabama’s largest and most comprehensive health and human services organization and psychiatric hospital system. It is the second largest in the southeastern US serving Mobile, Baldwin, and Washington counties in south Alabama and Clay, Coosa, Randolph, and Talladega counties to the north. Each year it provides mental health, substance abuse, and intellectual disability, and primary services to more than 35,000 children and adults.