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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
May/June 2010, Volume 18, Number 3 

Your Responses to “What’s in a Term”

You’ll be happy to hear that comments are continuing to arrive in SAMHSA’s email reader-response box regarding the terms that describe our work in the field of substance abuse and mental health.

Thank you very much for your participation in this open dialogue. In the past few weeks, more than 150 individuals sent in their ideas, personal stories, and impassioned responses. Two advocacy e-newsletters—JoinTogether.org and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)—posted the call for comments to their readers as well. In addition, SAMHSA’s Facebook page posted the article.

photo of Pamela S. Hyde, SAMHSA Administrator

Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., SAMHSA Administrator

The article, “What’s in a Term?” (SAMHSA News, March/April 2010), asked you for your thoughts on several terms, including substance use, mental health, behavioral health, and recovery. In addition, we asked about terms used for individuals, e.g., “consumer,” a term that generated serious complaints from many of you.

Most important, everyone appreciated the invitation to an open forum and a respectful conversation. With that in mind, SAMHSA will continue to keep the reader-response email box open for a while longer.

In the early responses, we heard from people identifying themselves as treatment providers, counselors, people in recovery, former “substance abusers,” “people with mental health issues,” and many others.

One reader’s feedback : “Certainly the terms and labels we use should be as descriptively (clinically) accurate and as value neutral as possible. But the problem is that no matter how well you accomplish the ‘accuracy’ part, the ‘value’ component finds its way in because there’s always a normative dimension to word usage/concept formation.”

In sharing these comments, we are acknowledging everyone’s interpretation and opinion on these terms. At the same time, we’re welcoming an opportunity to take a step closer to standard language for our field.

Excerpts from reader responses are available. See “Your Comments, Ideas, Personal Stories...”

Thank you again for your participation!


  Cover Story & Related Articles  
Promoting Wellness in Early Childhood

Promoting Wellness in Early Childhood

Project LAUNCH focuses on children from birth to age 8.


  From the Administrator  
Your Responses to What's in a Term?

Your Responses to “What’s in a Term?”

Comments are continuing to arrive in SAMHSA’s email reader-response box. Thank you! Read the responses so far.

Your Comments, Ideas, Personal Stories . . .

Your Comments, Ideas, Personal Stories . . .

SAMHSA has received more than 150 emails in response to the Administrator’s call for comments. Read selected responses.


  Health Reform  

Affordable Care Act: Implications for Behavioral Health

The Act improves services for people who have mental health and substance use disorders.



  Suicide Prevention in American  
  Indian Communities  
Helping Youth “Live To See the Great Day That Dawns”

Helping Youth “Live To See the Great Day That Dawns”

AI/AN youth are 10 times more likely to attempt suicide.

First-Person: Commitment, Hope, Community

Collaborating across tribes helped create a needed publication for AI/AN youth.



  Teens & Substance Abuse  
Adolescents Do What Every Day?

Adolescents Do What Every Day?

A day in the life may include more than texting and homework.

Tobacco Sales to Minors Increasing?

Tobacco Sales to Minors Increasing?

Sales of tobacco to minors increased nationally in 2009.

Youth Smoking & Maternal Risk Factors

Youth Smoking & Maternal Risk Factors

If a mother smokes, does that affect her teen?

Teen Smoking: New Data

Trends in young people’s smoking habits.



  Treatment  
TIP 49 in Your Pocket

TIP 49 in Your Pocket

Pocket “Quick Guides” for counselors and physicians.

By Metro Area: Treatment Data

By Metro Area: Treatment Data

Activities in 27 metro areas include Baltimore and San Diego — Metro Briefs.


  Awards  
PRISM Awards Honor Films, Television

PRISM Awards Honor Films, Television

Kudos for the realistic depiction of substance abuse and mental illness in film and TV.


  Staff in the News  
Leadership Award to Kana Enomoto

Leadership Award to Kana Enomoto

The Arthur S. Flemming Awards honors SAMHSA’s Kana Enomoto.


  Ending Seclusion & Restraint  

Organizations Making a Difference

SAMHSA honors facilities for reducing these practices.



  Drug Abuse Warning Network  
  (DAWN)  

Rise in Nonmedical Use of Pain Relievers

Emergency visits double for prescription opioid pain relievers.



  Recovery Month  
Toolkits, Posters Available

Toolkits, Posters Available

For September, planning materials at RecoveryMonth.gov.



  


Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road – Rockville, MD 20857
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