Mental Health and Addiction
Rates of prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths are skyrocketing. The annual number of fatal drug overdoses in the United States now surpasses those of motor vehicle deaths. The Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness supports innovative research and public advocacy to help stem this epidemic. JHSPH and the Clinton Foundation convened Town Hall symposia in 2014 and 2015, and the tide is beginning to turn in response to using sound evidence to influence policy.
The Center uses a public health approach to strengthen mental health and addiction services and systems in the United States. Its goal is to improve the lives of persons with mental illness and addiction through engaging in policy research, translating research evidence into policy and practice. The Center is training a new generation of policy researchers in this field.
Wietse Tol, the first Dr. Ali and Rose Kawi Professor in Mental Health, is on the front lines of global health, addressing today’s mental health crisis in countries around the world. Mental illnesses' impact on the global health burden is greater than that of malaria or heart disease, especially in the wake of calamities like natural disasters or warfare.
Tol explores a dimension of mental health often overlooked in war or disaster settings — the long-term stressors that these catastrophes impose on local populations or refugees, what he calls “the grinding conditions that hollow out people’s resources.”