From the Administrator: On Capitol Hill
Terry L. Cline, Ph.D.
On May 8, I testified in support of SAMHSA’s reauthorization on Capitol Hill.
My message to Congress was clear: with appropriate help, individuals with mental illnesses,
substance use disorders, and co-occurring disorders can and do recover. These conditions
are chronic illnesses; relapses are possible; and the recovery process can be protracted.
However, with the right services and treatment, the potential for recovery can unfold. Also,
with the right efforts ahead of time, we can prevent substance abuse and promote mental
SAMHSA’s strategic focus on strengthening delivery systems is essential. By identifying
areas of greatest need through data collection, filling those needs through evidence-based
service delivery, and then measuring effectiveness through national outcome measures, SAMHSA
can work to expand the availability and quality of services for people who need them.
The cornerstone of the Nation’s substance abuse prevention and treatment activities
is the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant. SAMHSA also funds an array
of discretionary grants to build treatment capacity, including the Screening, Brief Intervention,
Referral and Treatment program, and the Access to Recovery Program, an innovative Presidential
In addition, SAMHSA funds the Strategic Prevention Framework grant program to accomplish
the President’s goal to reduce youth drug use across the Nation.
SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services is leading the Federal effort to achieve
the vision of a transformed mental health system called for by the President’s New
Freedom Commission on Mental Health.
To achieve the six goals outlined by the Commission,
SAMHSA has worked to ensure that the principles of mental health transformation are present
throughout all the Agency's mental health grant activities including the Community Mental Health Services Block
Grant and discretionary grant programs.
Our continued commitment to a transformed system has a direct impact on improving services
for suicide prevention, school violence prevention, and children’s mental health.
Our success hinges on the use of evidence-based practices, which combine the best of research
with the delivery of services. SAMHSA funds the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs
and Practices, a Web-based decision support system developed by scientific experts.
With these programs in place, SAMHSA will continue to pursue its mission to build resilience and facilitate recovery for people with or at risk for mental or substance use disorders.
Terry L. Cline, Ph.D.
|Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on May 8, 2007. Photo by Meredith Hogan Pond
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