Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Compiled from DHS.gov What Is Human Trafficking? Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide – including right here in the United States. It can happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers might use violence, manipulation, or false promises of well-paying jobs or romantic relationships to lure victims into trafficking situations. Language barriers, fear of their traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement frequently keep victims from seeking help, making human trafficking a hidden crime. Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. They look for people who are susceptible for a variety of reasons, including psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters, or political instability. The trauma caused by the traffickers can be so great that many may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even in highly public settings. Many myths and misconceptions exist. Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. Not all indicators listed are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or [...]

2021-01-28T22:19:13-05:00January 28th, 2021|Community, Trauma|

Closing the treatment gap: Time to address inequality within mental health

By Sosunmolu Shoyinka, MD DBHIDS Chief Medical Officer Two months ago, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services and the City of Philadelphia took the occasion of Mental Health Awareness Month to remind residents -- especially during this difficult and unprecedented time of COVID-19: “You’re not alone. Help is out there.” Much has changed in the national dialogue since early May. And now Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, recognized in July of each year, gives us the opportunity to look more closely at overall mental health awareness -- and focus on the shortcomings of mental health treatment among minority groups. Mental health issues are not limited by race, gender, sexual identity, or anything else. Sadly, data suggest that access to mental health care does have limitations. This is particularly the case for minority populations. Across the United States, minority groups are less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, more likely to use emergency departments, and more likely to receive lower quality care, according to a report from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. They are also disproportionately impacted by socioeconomic determinants such as housing, food and financial insecurity, inadequate health insurance, exposure to violence, unemployment and lower access to quality education. The disproportionate impact of the [...]

2021-01-28T23:04:59-05:00July 7th, 2020|Community, Pandemic, Racial Equality|

Ready to Help: Message from DBHIDS Commissioner David T. Jones

Philadelphians are impacted to the core of our being, like the rest of the world, by the compilation of traumatic events experienced over the past several months. From the ongoing uncertainty and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic to the justified anger over the murders of George Floyd and many others that has gripped the nation to the violent upheaval and feelings of helplessness that have overtaken many at this time. We all are experiencing some degree of trauma. Moreover, not knowing when we may become overwhelmed by the anxiety and stress that these overlapping circumstances have created—when will it end? But the City of Philadelphia stands ready to help those seeking support at this time. We at the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) understand people who experience traumatic events have an increased risk of developing a range of behavioral health challenges. DBHIDS takes an approach to trauma that builds on resiliency, expands protective factors, takes into account people’s overall wellness, uses a population health approach, and incorporates evidence-based practices to decrease the impact of trauma. We fund innovative programs to connect community members with behavioral health information and reduce stigma. Free quick and anonymous behavioral health screenings are a component of Healthy Minds Philly, a DBHIDS public health strategy to extend services while providing links to [...]

2021-01-04T21:30:05-05:00June 5th, 2020|Community, Racial Equality|

City and Independence Blue Cross Launch #MindPHL Together Campaign to Connect Public to Mental Health Resources

Campaign Aims to Reduce Stigma, Encourage Philadelphians to Seek Help Today Mayor Jim Kenney announced the launch of a new public awareness campaign which builds on national Mental Health Awareness Month. The #mindPHL Together campaign, sponsored by the City of Philadelphia and Independence Blue Cross, aims to: Bring an improved community understanding of mental health and well-being; Reduce the stigma associated with needing mental health support; Encourage Philadelphians to seek help for themselves and others; and Offer vital support needed by those impacted by mental health challenges. “Amid the heightened uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental well-being is more important than ever,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “During this unprecedented time, many of us are experiencing loss, anxiety, stress, or overwhelming sadness. I want to remind Philadelphians to be mindful, know you are not alone, and that it’s okay to seek help for these and other symptoms.” The campaign includes a new, easy-to-use website, MindPHLtogether.com, to make mental health resources more readily available to all Philadelphians. The site is a joint effort between the City’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services and Independence Blue Cross. “As our region deals with the COVID-19 epidemic and all its consequences, many people are facing feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and isolation. It’s normal to feel that way,” said Daniel J. Hilferty, Independence Blue [...]

2021-01-28T23:07:32-05:00May 4th, 2020|Community|
Go to Top