Supporting Mental Health Is the Key to Happiness and Well-being

Supporting Mental Health
Is the Key to Happiness and Well-being

Experts Gather at Job Corps Event for One-day
Deep Dive into Mental Health and Wellness

Bizzell subject matter expert is slated to speak and gather at Job Corps event with top authorities on mental health to discuss the latest findings and issues on mental wellness. William Scarbrough, Ph.D., Bizzell US Senior Vice President of Health Solutions and Data Analytics brings in May Mental Health Awareness Month by speaking about Recognizing Mental Health Concerns vs. Discipline Issues at the 2024 NJCA Mental Health Mini-Conference on May 10th at Westin Alexandria Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia.

Since 2010, Bizzell has gained national recognition for its initiatives in workforce development, behavioral health, and substance use management. At Bizzell’s Job Corps Centers, a student-centered approach emphasizes holistic well-being to support education and career transitions effectively. The Behavioral Health Advancement Resource Center (BHARC) at Bizzell serves as a pivotal resource for mental health research, offering access to a suite of behavioral health solutions, wellness counseling, and strategic resources. This center focuses on fostering robust support systems to address and ameliorate disruptive behaviors and habits that hinder success, such as smoking, substance use, and inadequate physical activity, among others. Additionally, Bizzell has developed comprehensive strategies to support mental health and combat substance dependencies, enhancing safety and wellness across educational environments. These initiatives play a crucial role in maintaining secure and healthy campus environments.

Bizzell US (Bizzell) is an SBA HUBZone-certified, minority-owned consulting, strategy, investment, and technology firm with a deep passion for the Job Corps mission and a history of providing exceptional services to the Office of Job Corps (OJC) in matters of policy, pre-enrollment, on-center student support, regional operations, and program integrity. As a data-driven and research- informed organization with deep expertise in behavioral health (substance use and mental health), Bizzell brings an informed perspective on issues that Job Corps students may face and offers strategies to address their challenges. Bizzell is committed to the Job Corps mission to “care about people and helping them gain prosperity.”

For more information, visit the 2024 NJCA Mental Health Mini-Conference. Discover more about Bizzell’s commitment to mental health awareness at

Media Contact:
Kwame Phillips, Chief of Staff, Bizzell

Dr. David Sleet Co-Authors Report on Reducing Homelessness at Canadian Emergency Departments

Dr. David Sleet Co-Authors Report on Reducing Homelessness at Canadian Emergency Departments

A novel Canadian program (The Bridge Healing program) aims to break the cycle of homelessness and prevent unsustainable, repeated “social admits” of homeless individuals to emergency departments (EDs).

Dr. David Sleet, Bizzell Senior Associate, Injury Prevention, co-authored “Bridge Healing: A Pilot Project of a New Model to Prevent Repeat “Social Admit” Visits to the Emergency Department and Help Break the Cycle of Homelessness in Canada,” published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The article describes the program designed to provide healthcare services that act as transitional housing for homeless individuals who would not normally receive any other housing assistance.

Dr. Sleet stated that, “the project design facilitates reintegrating residents into the community, preventing poor health outcomes and unnecessary costs to the healthcare system. Multiple stakeholders have endorsed the model and grassroots community-level organizations have financially supported it.”

Significant successes included the establishment of relationships with government agencies to facilitate the acquisition of permanent housing. The study found that collaborating with income support services that cover basic needs allowed staff to focus on acquiring permanent housing, thus minimizing reliance on EDs.

“We hope that our research eases the burden on local emergency departments and increases the resources so desperately needed by individuals working to exit the cycle of homelessness and housing insecurity,” added Dr. Sleet.

About Bizzell

Bizzell is a strategy, consulting, and technology firm with a mission to improve lives and accelerate change. We develop innovative solutions to some of the most critical issues of our time such as health care services equity, global health, workforce innovation, and other urgent needs facing the world. Learn more about how we develop data-driven, research-informed, innovative solutions to complex, real-world challenges.

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The Behavioral Health Advancement Resource Center (BHARC) is an authoritative source for behavioral health information, insights, technical assistance, training, and innovative tools. BHARC is a mechanism to share evidence-based behavioral health interventions and best practices. The BHARC Advisory Council consists of experts in substance use, mental health, clinical trials, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare standards and quality. Learn more about the Behavioral Health Advancement Resource Center at

Honoring the Journey: Celebrating PTSD Awareness Month

Honoring the Journey:

Celebrating PTSD Awareness Month

By Bizzell Editorial Staff

 “Unlike other forms of psychological disorders, the core issue in trauma is reality.” 

Bessel A. van der Kolk, “Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body, and Society” 

What is trauma? Trauma is an emotional response to an extremely stressful event(s) like an accident, physical abuse, intimate partner violence, sexual assault, combat, natural disasters, and even global pandemics. While not everyone who experiences trauma will develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it is still important to understand the effects of trauma. 

Trauma biologically changes a person’s brain. When experiencing a traumatic event, the body treats it as a threat, the “fight, flight, or freeze” part of the brain is activated, and the body switches into survival mode. Usually, when the threat has passed, the body will return to a more restful state. However, when the brain doesn’t leave that reactive survival space, PTSD can develop [1]Bizzell, A. C., (2021, June 9). What You Need to Know About PTSD. Psychology Today.

June is observed as PTSD Awareness Month, with June 27 highlighted as PTSD Screening Day. Within the civilian population, anywhere from 2.3% to 9.1% of Americans will experience an episode of PTSD within a given year. Within the military population, the rates are significantly higher, with 6.7% to 50.2% of American service members experiencing an episode during a year. Regardless of military status, women are more likely to develop PTSD than men [2]Schein, J., Houle, A., Cloutier, M., Patterson-Lomba, O., Wang, Y., King, S., Levinson, W., Guérin, A., Lefebvre, P., & Davis, L. L. (2021). Prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder in the United States: a systematic literature review. Current Medical Research and Opinion, 37(12), 2151 – 2161. In addition, it is very common for individuals with PTSD to have at least one comorbid condition, such as depression or anxiety. 

By encouraging people to become more informed about PTSD and what the symptoms may look like, we can lessen the stigma around this condition. Physical symptoms can vary, but may include: 

  • Flashbacks or re-experiencing the event
  • Insomnia
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Migraines
  • Mood instability
  • Depression

Other ways PTSD can manifest itself is through the coping behaviors people employ to manage their symptoms. For example, individuals may avoid certain places, activities, people, or dates to avoid triggering an episode. Other people have intense dreams or repetitive flashbacks that intrude on their normal thought processes. Alterations in both cognition and reactivity are also common responses to PTSD; examples include compulsive negative thoughts, engaging in self-destructive activities, or having a distorted self-perception that reinforces feelings of shame or guilt. 

Self-treatments such as learning mindfulness techniques, practicing deep breathing, and progressively tensing and relaxing muscles can help a person healthfully cope with the overwhelming stimuli during an episode. Other successful treatments include therapy, medication, or a mix of all the above.  

PTSD can be effectively managed through compassionate understanding and appropriate care. The majority of individuals who undergo PTSD ultimately find a path to recovery. Collaborating with a primary care physician to monitor and address symptoms is crucial for achieving recovery or effective management. It is essential to recognize that individuals with PTSD have the capacity to adapt, coexist with their symptoms, and lead meaningful, productive lives. 

Learn more about PTSD from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ National Center for PTSD.



[1] Bizzell, A. C., (2021, June 9). What You Need to Know About PTSD. Psychology Today. 

[2] Schein, J., Houle, A., Cloutier, M., Patterson-Lomba, O., Wang, Y., King, S., Levinson, W., Guérin, A., Lefebvre, P., & Davis, L. L. (2021). Prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder in the United States: a systematic literature review. Current Medical Research and Opinion, 37(12), 2151 – 2161. 

Supporting Drug Prevention Week

Supporting Drug Prevention Week

By Todd W. Mandel, MD, Bizzell US

National Prevention Week is a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) led national public education campaign highlighting the work of communities and organizations dedicated to raising awareness about substance misuse prevention and positive mental health. Observed May 7–13, this week-long endeavor encourages preventative initiatives and tactics designed to increase positive mental health outcomes.

This collaborative effort helps to strengthen prevention efforts and create a culture of health and wellness, bringing together individuals, organizations, and communities across the country. Please visit the Prevention Week homepage to register and join SAMHSA in honoring of the work of their partners in prevention and celebrating stories of success.

There are numerous dangers of substance use disorders (SUDs) that can affect both an individual’s physical and mental health. SUDs can cause changes in brain chemistry that can facilitate the development of mood disorders, anxiety, and depression. SUDs contribute to potentially fatal overdoses, and other issues such as heart disease, liver and kidney damage, and respiratory issues. Additionally, SUDs can disrupt personal relationships, cause financial problems, and even lead to legal issues.

According to the CDC figures cited by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), 107,375 people in the United States died of drug overdoses and drug poisonings in the 12-month period ending in January 2022 [1]United States Drug Enforcement Administration. (2022, April 29). Fentanyl Awareness. Retrieved May 9, 2023, from A staggering 67 percent of those deaths involved synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, with some of these deaths attributed to fentanyl mixed with other illicit drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin. This illicit mixture leaves many users unaware they were taking fentanyl, further contributing to overdoses. Only two milligrams of fentanyl can be a potentially lethal dose, particularly for someone who does not have an opioid tolerance. Recent data from the DEA indicates that Fentanyl is involved in more deaths of Americans under 50 than any cause of death, including heart disease, cancer, homicide, suicide, and accident-related deaths [1]United States Drug Enforcement Administration. (2022, April 29). Fentanyl Awareness. Retrieved May 9, 2023, from

While the focus of National Prevention Week is providing an educational forum to encourage people to not start using substances, for those who are already facing challenges with SUDs, effective treatments are available. There are also other strategies and resources for overdose prevention. Bizzell US, through its work with The National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network, produced online educational resources on topics for screening, fentanyl overdose prevention, and treatment for methamphetamine use disorder:

Prevention efforts such as education and awareness campaigns, early intervention programs, and easy access to treatment and support are essential to reduce drug use and its harmful consequences. By working together as a community to prioritize drug use prevention, we can help individuals and families avoid the devastating effects of drug addiction, promoting a safer and healthier future for everyone.



[1] United States Drug Enforcement Administration. (2022, April 29). Fentanyl Awareness. Retrieved May 9, 2023, from