Brain health affects everyone. According to the National Institute on Mental Health, one in four people has a mental health disorder. In Palm Beach County, that translates to approximately 330,000 people.
Brain disorders – including substance use disorder – are claiming thousands of lives each year in Palm Beach County. Lack of resources and support for mental health conditions has claimed the top spot of Palm Beach County's greatest unmet health needs for several years in a row.
Now is the time to shine a spotlight on this important health issue. Take a peek at these numbers, which only reflect Palm Beach County:
600 opioid overdose deaths in 2017
4,012 calls to 2-1-1 due to loneliness and isolation
49th ranked in funding for behavioral health (Florida)
27 percent of high school students reported sadness and hopelessness that was strong enough to interrupt normal, day-to-day activities
25 percent increase in suicides since 2008
Sadly, mental health funding in Florida is ranked 49th in the nation, and existing mental health services are insufficient to address the current needs of Palm Beach County residents. Palm Health Foundation is advocating for better brain health in Palm Beach County through the Brain Health Innovation Fund.
The Brain Health Innovation Fund will work alongside current services in place to connect the dots, close the gaps and leverage support for a healthier Palm Beach County by doing the following:
- Advancing new technologies, like web-based platforms and Artificial Intelligence, to improve care quality
- Providing opportunities for students, health professionals, and residents to improve brain health
- Linking cutting edge research and community participation with care delivery
- Exploring the challenges and opportunities for building out the workforce to advance brain health in Palm Beach County