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UA Social Work Develops Behavioral Health App for State

Working with several state agencies and nonprofit organizations, researchers and social work experts at The University of Alabama gathered all education, information and services related to substance use, mental health and prevention for an easy-to-use app that instantly provides access to the resources people need to take the next step.

The Connect Alabama app was created through the VitAL initiative in the UA School of Social Work and funded through a partnership with the Alabama Department of Public Health.

“We believe this mobile health application will contribute to users’ behavioral health literacy on mental health and substance use disorders and will assist Alabamians to make more informed decisions on the range of services offered by the state and its certified providers,” said Dr. David L. Albright, UA Distinguished Research Professor, Hill Crest Foundation Endowed Chair in Mental Health Research in social work and VitAL principal investigator.

Users can access information in the app without having to be connected to the internet or cellular data services.

“Connect Alabama is an important tool, offering fast and reliable service to someone looking for help. It may take an individual many years to simply reach out for help with mental health issues or a substance use disorder,” said Alabama Department of Mental Health Commissioner Kimberly Boswell. “We need as many avenues as possible for an individual to seek treatment and information, when they are ready to take the next step toward recovery.”

The initial idea came from team members of VitAL, which oversees multiple state-focused behavioral health projects that strive to study and improve services, policies and social conditions for those with mental health, substance use disorder and trauma-related challenges. The VitAL team currently works with community and organizational stakeholders in all of Alabama’s 67 counties.

Read more in UA News.