The state of Alabama cares for the physical and mental health of its residents, and for that reason, it has established government institutions and departments for people to use with trust and safety. Such institutions are the Department of Public Health and the Department of Mental Health which are further subdivided into additional branches. To have even easier access to AL health services, you can apply for one of the state’s health insurance programs such as:
- ALL Kids, which is a low-cost health insurance for Alabama children under 19 years of age
- WIC (Women, Infants and Children), a supplemental nutrition program for eligible infants and children under five years old, as well as for women who are:
- has had a baby in the past six months
- Medicaid, which is the state’s medical care program covering medical expenses for eligible low-income individuals
Department of Public Health
The Department of Public Health in AL is the most important state health agency providing quality medical services, protection, prevention and assistance to all residents. You can find a large variety of services and programs offered by the DPH for control and prevention of diseases including, but not limited to:
- Heart diseases.
- Sexually transmitted diseases (including AIDS/HIV and Hepatitis).
- Chronic diseases.
- Infectious diseases.
In addition, you can also find injury prevention services, help with domestic and other types of violence, motor vehicle safety, health care for the elderly and more.
Department of Mental Health
Human health consists of two essential parts: physical and mental health, and one cannot go without the other. In AL, the Department of Mental Health is divided, according to the type of mental health services it provides, into:
- Division of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services
- Division of Developmental Disabilities
Note: At first, all three departments were separate, but as of recently, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services have merged into one to offer patients more efficient, and if possible, permanent recovery.
Bureau of Communicable Disease
The Department of Public Health has established the Bureau of Communicable Disease which is further sub-divided into several divisions:
- STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
- Infectious Diseases and Outbreaks
Specifically, the Immunization division covers immunization programs that are vital for disease prevention and improvement of immunization rates in AL residents. Immunization services include vaccines for:
- Children (chickenpox, measles, Tdap, mumps, flu, meningococcal, pertussis)
- Adults (pneumonia, flu, hepatitis A and B, zoster, meningococcal, HPV, Tdap)
Some diseases like polio or diphtheria are slowly diminishing because vaccinations have been successful in their purpose. However, there is no 100 percent guarantee that a disease has vanished completely – some people may still get sick and no risks should be taken. The Department of Public Health encourages and supports vaccinations in order to prevent such diseases from making a comeback. Removing the protection that vaccines offer may result in old diseases finding a new way to infect people.