Global Services, Systems, and Policy
Foundations of Behavioral Health
Introduction Public policymaking begins with an official acknowledgment of an identified issue or concern (Hanson, 2014). This begins a series of practical actions to resolve the issue; an issue is identified and a multilayered process begins to seek a solution that attempts to address problems at an individual (micro)level as well as at the mesoand macro-levels. The policymaking process includes the selection of a "working group" (i.e., an individual, a group of individuals, or an institution
... or an institution to examine the problem and to generate recommendations). To do so, the working group requests one or more policy analyses, depending upon the complexity of the problem and the scope of its mandate. These policy analyses review the identified problems from numerous perspectives, including economic, political, or social, to define and describe the problem and recommend possible solutions. Social, statistical, and epidemiologic data regarding behavioral health are gathered, as is the evidence on best practices. After the recommendations, an external agency or the executive, judicial, or legislative branch of a state or federal government then takes over to initiate the designated actions. This process, or variants of the process, occurs daily across the world as we seek to find best solutions to address behavioral disorders, improve quality of life and outcomes for persons with these disorders, and to improve population health (Hanson, 2014) .