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Welcome to the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services

Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services


Population Health

Population health refers to the health of the entire community. The City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) can no longer provide services only to individuals who are experiencing a health-related condition. DBHIDS takes a much broader view: We seek to improve the health of everyone in a community, not just those with a diagnosis.

There are many factors that affect a person’s health, including:

  • Spirituality
  • Nutrition/Exercise
  • Peer Support
  • Work/School
  • Family
  • Treatment
  • Social Support
  • Housing
  • Socioeconomics

Population Health: Factors that contribute

By empowering the entire community to take charge of their health, DBHIDS helps to create a Philadelphia in which every resident can thrive.

Our objectives:

  • Attend to the whole population, not just to those seeking services. At DBHIDS, we prioritize outcomes for the entire community, not just those for individuals with a diagnosis. We want to keep people well so that, over time, Philadelphia experiences less illness and its associated consequences.
  • Promote health, wellness, and self-determination. Health is much more than the absence of illness or management of symptoms. We promote wellness and quality of life, rather than simply targeted interventions to address illness.
  • Provide early intervention and prevention. There will always be a need for access to high-quality clinical care, supports, and services. A population health approach provides this—but it also works to screen for, and prevent, the onset or progression of conditions. This allows us to improve outcomes and better utilize resources.
  • Address nonmedical factors that affect a person’s wellness, also known as social determinants of health. Factors like chronic stress, toxic environments, limited access to nutritious foods, inadequate housing, and social isolation can contribute to poor health. Our approach addresses these factors to reduce health disparities and safeguard everyone’s right to optimum health and self-determination.
  • Empower individuals and communities to keep themselves healthy. Healthcare providers can’t be solely responsible for healthy communities. At DBHIDS, we educate, empower, and motivate people to take charge of their own health and wellness.

Learn more about our approach.