MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Launching today, Connect Alabama, a behavioral health services and treatment finder application, provides individuals instant access to education, information and services related to substance use, mental health, and prevention. The app is funded through a partnership of the Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama Department of Mental Health, and is created and managed by VitAL of The University of Alabama School of Social Work.
“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. 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,” said Alabama Department of Mental Health Commissioner Kimberly Boswell.
“Having this new Connect Alabama app will facilitate those seeking information and treatment by easily linking Alabamians to the resources and services that are available to them,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said.
A special feature of the app is functionality even if internet or data are not available. The application has built-in static information that is accessible anytime, without access to data or internet and will update as service and data becomes available for the user.
Features of the app include:
- The home page of the application showcases a Hot Topic Banner, navigable sections of help, and filters to specify needs and locations.
- The Helpline page displays click-to-call phone numbers. Each helpline has direct dial functionality and direct SMS to text the helpline, when applicable.
“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 VitAL principal investigator Dr. David L. Albright.
- The services locator access page provides a directory for substance use, prevention, mental health, or medication drop off locations and includes services offered (outpatient, residential etc.), demographics and location of services.
“Having easy access to resources for substance use disorder is critical,” said Rosemary Blackmon, executive vice president of the Alabama Hospital Association. “Too often individuals go without needed help simply because they don’t know where to find it.”
- Additional resources, education, and information including direct access to free Naloxone kits provided by Jefferson County Department of Health are available on the app. After watching a short video, a person can have the life-saving drug sent to the home and have on hand in case of an overdose.
The app is available for download on iOS through the app store and for Android devices via Google play.