A major part of most behavioral services providers is focused on educating the community to help prevent cases of substance abuse, disease transmission or similar scenarios. Various prevention services exist to help reduce the number of cases of substance abuse, mental illness or other health conditions. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force works to improve the health of all Americans by recommending various clinical preventive services. These services include:
- Screenings and assessments
- Counseling services
- Preventive medications
Screenings & Assessment Services
The types of screenings and assessments that are used as part of a preventive measure to help members of the community to remain in good health will depend on the individual circumstances that are being screened and the types of conditions which the provider is aiming to prevent. For instance, family history is widely known to play a role in whether or not an individual is likely to suffer from mental illness. For this reason, a screening may be performed by a healthcare provider or treatment professional to determine any past cases of mental illness within the family and make a risk assessment on the potential for the individual to have the same illness. This can help the treatment professional to detect and diagnose certain illnesses early on.
Assessment and screenings are also performed for substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, and a wide range of other health conditions. By assessing the individual and screening him or her to determine lifestyle factors which may increase the risk of them contracting or developing an illness, the treatment professional can often detect these conditions earlier on or provide the patient with a means to prevent those conditions which are preventable.
Prevention services often include counseling and therapy. The type of counseling or therapy that is offered to you will likely depend on your own individual condition, risk factors, and lifestyle. Counseling may aim to provide education to reduce the risk of substance abuse, it may provide family counseling to help reduce the negative impact of mental illness on those involved or it may provide some other means of support. Preventive care, including counseling, focuses heavily on preventing illness, mental health conditions or substance abuse and on educating and information those who are at risk of their risks and the steps that they can take to avoid disaster.
Many mental health issues and substance abuse related problems can be avoided using preventive medications. If a screening or mental health assessment helps the treatment professional to determine that there is a risk or underlying potential for mental illness, there are often preventive medications which can be provided to reduce the risk or keep symptoms at bay. Preventive services will also include immunizations, birth control and similar measures to help the community to stay healthy.