Behavioral Health and Social Determinants of Health

A governor is uniquely situated to look across the state and coordinate action among state agencies, communities and stakeholders. Many governors are actively engaged in aligning multiple health delivery system reform efforts with broader population health strategies and exploring economically sustainable models.  One focal point of the NGA Health work with states is in establishing or scaling up cost-effective programs for individuals with complex care needs. Many of those individuals have unmet behavioral health (mental illness and/or substance misuse) and social service needs that are better served in the community and outside of acute care or institutional settings.  To that end, NGA Health is providing states technical assistance around a number of policy priorities in behavioral health including:

  • improving outcomes and reducing cost of care for complex populations
  • system-level behavioral health and primary care integration
  • capacity building in rural and underserved areas
  • supportive housing
  • behavioral health in criminal justice involved

Publications and Resources



  • Building Healthy Communities: How to Support States in the Development of Community-Based Solutions and Sustainable Infrastructure
  • Establishing the Building Blocks for Lifelong Health and Success: Supporting States in Advancing Multi-Sectoral and Multi-Generational Solutions to Improve Children’s Lives
  • Suicide Prevention Convening