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SAMHSA News - July/August 2006, Volume 14, Number 4

From the Administrator: Reflections, Future Directions

photo of Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W., SAMHSA Administrator

Charles G. Curie
SAMHSA Administrator

My initiation to Federal service occurred, by coincidence, at the time of the September 11, 2001, attacks, making it a time of tremendous challenge for me, yet also a moment of limitless possibilities.

One of my first actions as SAMHSA Administrator was to hold a national conference in New York City soon after the attacks. SAMHSA invited a team from every state to attend and work on a disaster preparedness action plan for mental and substance use problems.

As I prepare to leave SAMHSA, I see that the resolve, commitment, and ingenuity displayed at that time by stakeholders in the field working in tandem with SAMHSA staff was a harbinger of how hard we would work and how much we would accomplish together in the years ahead.

Simultaneously, I engaged the field in an ongoing dialogue to help shape the direction of SAMHSA's efforts. The insight and input from these stakeholders helped formulate a mission and vision.

The vision is a life in the community for everyone. People of all ages, with or at risk for mental or substance use disorders, deserve the opportunity for a fulfilling life that includes an education, a job, a home, and meaningful relationships with family and friends.

The vision continues to inform Agency efforts today. It infuses SAMHSA's directive from the President's New Freedom Initiative to transform the Nation's mental health service delivery system. It has helped launch transformative programs such as Access to Recovery and the Strategic Prevention Framework that are already taking shape across the Nation.

The vision of life in the community for everyone has also clarified the understanding that there are many pathways to recovery from substance abuse, including the transforming powers of faith. With that in mind, SAMHSA has established broad alliances with community and faith-based service providers to assist citizens seeking help and support in their recovery.

To make the vision accessible to all, SAMHSA remains committed to breaking down the wall between the mental health care and substance abuse treatment systems so that people with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems receive comprehensive, coordinated treatment.

More recently, Agency efforts in connection with the 2005 hurricanes in the Gulf States and in the international arena—particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan—have persuaded me even more profoundly about the universality of SAMHSA's vision. Throughout the world, people's needs, hopes, and aspirations are more similar than we may think.

I anticipate watching SAMHSA's achievements grow after I leave, and I look forward to continuing my own efforts to improve the lives of all people with or at risk for mental and substance use disorders. End of Article

Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W.
Administrator, SAMHSA

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Inside This Issue

Preparedness Planning

Hurricane Recovery Guides Preparedness Planning
Part 1
Part 2

Post-Disaster Response: Learning from Research
Part 1
Part 2

Schools Offer Stability for Children of Disasters

Documentary Features New Orleans High School

Disaster Readiness Resources

Administrator Curie To Leave SAMHSA

From the Administrator: Reflections, Future Directions

SAMHSA Expands Matrix

Methamphetamine Jeopardizes Children's Welfare

Afghanistan, Iraq: SAMHSA Supports Mental Health Efforts

First Lady Reaches Out to Youth

Treatment Protocol Focuses on Detoxification

Curriculum on Restraint Reduction Available

Treatment Directory Updated

Drug Abuse Linked to 1.3 Million ER Visits

Spanish-Language Fotonovela

September Is Recovery Month!

Screening for Mental Illness in Nursing Homes

SAMHSA News Information

SAMHSA News - July/August 2006, Volume 14, Number 4