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NIDA grant recipient Dr. Hansel Tookes embraces IDEA participant Melissa in Miami, FL.
Figure 25.1 Community-based programs approach mental health treatment from a cooperative perspective. (credit: “Compassion” by Sonya Revell/Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

The word community may conjure images of a neighborhood, friend group, place of worship, or elsewhere. It is likely a group of people who offer support and a sense of connection.

Community is a vital part of the human experience. Humans are social creatures and thrive as part of a group or community. Community provides a sense of belonging, a support system, a place to share experiences, and a sense of security. Communities offer opportunities for people to learn from one another, exchange ideas, and collaborate. Additionally, communities often have shared values and goals, which can give individuals a sense of purpose and meaning. Overall, communities provide a sense of identity and a feeling of being part of something greater than oneself, which is essential to human well-being.

Community-based mental health services provide accessible and affordable mental health care to individuals within their own communities, offering a range of support. Community-based mental health services work to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness by promoting awareness and understanding with advocacy and positive outcomes. They can also help to prevent mental health crises by providing early intervention and support. By offering services within a community, people can receive the care they need without having to travel long distances or face other barriers that may prevent them from seeking help. Ultimately, community-based mental health services help to improve the overall mental health and well-being of communities. Nurses play an important part in helping clients as they navigate community-based mental health care.


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