SAMHSA: Transforming Mental Health Care in America - Federal Action Agenda 2005


The Federal Action Agenda: First Steps

Highlights of the Federal Action Agenda:

Highlighted Action Steps to Transform the Mental Health System

Principle A

Focus on the Outcomes of Mental Health Care, Including Employment, Self-Care, Interpersonal Relationships, and Community Participation

Action Items
  • Initiate a National Public Education Campaign.
  • Launch the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.
  • Educate the Public about Men and Depression.
  • Respond to refugees' mental health needs.
  • Develop prototype individualized plans of care that promote
    resilience and recovery.
  • Provide technical assistance on resilience and recovery.
  • Promote the use of customized employment strategies.
  • Promote the transition of youth with serious emotional disturbances from school to post-secondary opportunities and/or employment.
  • Develop an employer initiative to increase the recruitment, employment, advancement, and retention of people with psychiatric disabilities.
  • Assist youth with serious emotional disturbances involved
    with the juvenile justice system to transition into employment.
  • Promote the employment of people with mental illnesses
    who are chronically homeless.
  • Establish a DOL Work Group to promote quality employment of adults with serious mental illnesses and youth with serious emotional disturbances.
  • Provide treatment and vocational rehabilitation that supports employment for people with mental disorders.
  • Conduct outreach to homeless individuals with mental disorders.
  • Initiate a national effort focused on meeting the mental health needs of young children as part of overall health care.
  • Create a comprehensive action agenda for implementing throughout the Veterans Health Administration all relevant recommendations of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.
  • Launch a user-friendly, consumer-oriented web site.
  • Promote ADA compliance, support and work to eliminate unnecessary institutionalization, and help eliminate discrimination.

Principle B

Focus on Community-Level Models of Care That Coordinate Multiple Mental Health and Human Service Providers and Private and Public Payers

Action Items
  • Include issues critical to mental health in health care reform.
  • Launch the Federal Executive Steering Committee on Mental Health.
  • Build on and expand criminal and juvenile justice and mental health collaborations.
  • Support the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee.
  • Review standards and set guidelines for culturally competent care.
  • Create a National Strategic Workforce Development Plan to reduce mental health disparities.
  • Initiate a project to examine cultural competence in behavioral health care education and training programs.
  • Advance efforts to integrate mental health and primary care services for racial and ethnic minorities.
  • Participate in HHS "Close the Gap Initiative."
  • Develop a National Rural Mental Health Plan.
  • Promote strategies to appropriately serve children at-risk for mental health problems in high risk service systems.
  • Develop a demonstration project for children in foster care.
  • Foster joint responsibility and implementation strategies for children, youth, adults, and older adults with co-occurring disorders.
  • Focus on children in the juvenile justice and child welfare settings.
  • Include mental health in Community Health Center consumer assessment tools.

Principle C

Maximize Existing Resources by Increasing Cost Effectiveness and Reducing Unnecessary and Burdensome Regulatory Barriers

Action Items
  • Educate employers and benefits managers on the practicability of paying for mental health care.
  • Evaluate and report the impact of mental health parity.
  • Initiate Medicaid Demonstration Projects.
  • Convene Directors of State Mental Health, State Medicaid, and Regional Medicare Programs.
  • Help parents avoid relinquishing custody and obtain mental health services for their children.
  • Support the Ticket to Work Program.
  • Address reimbursement in primary care.
  • Develop a strategy to implement innovative technology in the mental health field.
  • Explore creation of a Capital Investment Fund for Technology.

Principle D

Use Mental Health Research Findings to Influence the Delivery of Services

Action Items
  • Accelerate research to reduce the burden of mental illnesses.
  • Foster a research partnership.
  • Expand the "Science-to-Services" agenda.
  • Conduct research to understand co-occurring disorders.
  • Harness research to improve care.
  • Support research to develop new medications.
  • Expand the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices to include mental health.
  • Develop new toolkits on specific evidence-based mental health practices.
  • Develop the knowledge base in understudied areas.
  • Conduct research to reduce mental health disparities.
  • Review the literature and develop new studies on mental illness/general health.
  • Conduct mental health services research in diverse populations and settings.
  • Test new treatments for co-occurring disorders in community settings.
  • Disseminate findings of the Juvenile Justice and Mental Health Project.

Principle E

Ensure Innovation, Flexibility, and Accountability at All Levels of Government and Respect the Constitutional Role of the States and Indian Tribes

Action Items
  • Award State Mental Health Transformation Grants.
  • Provide technical assistance to help develop comprehensive State Mental Health Plans.
  • Award Child and Adolescent State Infrastructure Grants.
  • Track State mental health system transformation activities.
  • Establish a foundation for the Samaritan Initiative.
  • Establish the Re-Entry Initiative for ex-prisoners with psychiatric disabilities.
  • Award Seclusion and Restraint State Incentive Grants.
  • Develop statewide systems of care for children with mental disorders.
  • Provide technical assistance to States on systems of care for children with serious emotional disturbances and their parents and other family members.
  • Convene State leadership to develop Statewide plans to serve children with serious emotional disturbances.
  • Expand the Partnerships for Youth Transition Grant Program.
  • Provide technical assistance on Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT).
  • Facilitate linkages between DOL/SSA's joint Disability Program Navigator Initiative, SAMHSA, and related State and local mental health systems.
  • Disseminate information on mental health issues through DOL grant and program initiatives.

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File Date: 2/12/2009