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Military Families Fact Sheet

SAMHSA’s support of behavioral health systems serving service members, veterans, and their families works with States, Territories, and Tribes to strengthen behavioral health care systems for Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families (SMVF). This initiative provides support through the provision of technical assistance (TA) and the promotion of ongoing interagency collaboration.

This initiative builds upon SAMHSA’s 2008 and 2010 SMVF Policy Academies, through which 18 States and Territories established interagency teams that: (1) developed strategic plans to accomplish the above goal; and (2) committed to sustaining and expanding the teams, and implementing and enhancing the plan. SAMHSA’s support for behavioral health systems works with the teams in Policy Academy States and Territories and also reaches out to States, Territories, and Tribes that have not benefited from Policy Academies. 

The target audience for SAMHSA’s support for behavioral health systems includes senior-level representatives from governors’ offices; Tribal leaders; State, Territory, and Tribal agencies responsible for mental health and substance abuse, veterans affairs, National Guard, Medicaid and/or Social Security, housing, labor/employment, and criminal justice; and stakeholders, including but not limited to, veteran service organizations, military/veteran family support organizations, and providers, consumers, and families who are working with States, Territories, and Tribes to improve behavioral health systems for SMVF.  

Key objectives for SAMHSA’s support for behavioral health systems include the following: 

  • Providing a centralized mechanism for States, Territories, and Tribes to utilize when they have questions about strengthening their behavioral health systems for SMVF;
  • Increasing awareness of and promoting integrated responses to the behavioral health needs of SMVF among agencies, providers, and stakeholders in the States, Territories, and Tribes receiving TA;
  • Increasing awareness of and access to resources and programs that strengthen behavioral health care systems for SMVF;
  • Increasing the number of States, Territories, and Tribes that implement promising, best, and evidence-based practices that strengthen behavioral health care systems for SMVF.
  • Strengthening ongoing collaboration at the State, Territory, and Tribal level among key public and private agencies and stakeholders that are, or need to be, concerned with the behavioral health needs of SMVF. These include agencies responsible for and experts in mental health, substance use, emergency and crisis services, primary care, veterans affairs, labor/employment, housing/homelessness, children and families, and criminal justice; National Guard and Reserves; Medicaid and/or Social Security benefits; the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) serving that area; veterans service organizations; and Veterans (including Reserve components) and their families; and
  • Providing a centralized mechanism for States, Territories, and Tribes to learn, connect, and share with experts and peers.

SAMHSA’s support for behavioral health systems facilitates peer consultation in all of its activities and supports peer involvement in all TA activities, such as: promoting the adoption of promising, best, and evidence-based practices in suicide prevention, mental health, and substance use treatment; veteran and family peer support; veteran jail diversion; homelessness prevention; workplace/employment; interagency data sharing; telepsychiatry; outreach to the National Guard and Reservists; coordinating diverse public and private organizations that are reaching out to SMVF; optimizing financing mechanisms to increase system capacity; increasing appropriate use of TRICARE and Department of Veterans Affairs health care resources; improving data-sharing across agencies; training community behavioral health providers in military culture and evidence-based, trauma-informed care; and other critical issues related to the behavioral health needs of SMVF. 

For more information, contact:

SAMHSA’s support for behavioral health systems serving service members, veterans, and their families
345 Delaware Avenue
Delmar, NY 12054
Phone: 518-439-7415 ext. 258
Email: rtac@prainc.com

Points of Contacts

CAPT Maria Dinger RN, BSN, MS
Captain, U.S. Public Health Service
Task Order Officer
1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 6-1083
Rockville, MD 20857
Phone: 240-276-2016
Cell: 240-357-3935
Fax: 240-276-1089
Email: Maria.Dinger@SAMHSA.hhs.gov

Eileen Zeller, MPH
Task Order Officer - Alternative (ATOO)
SAMHSA/CMHS/DPTSSP
Public Health Advisor
1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 6-1074
Rockville, MD 20857
Phone: 240-276-1863
Cell: 240-688-1726
Email: Eileen.zeller@samhsa.hhs.gov

Henry J. Steadman, Ph.D.
Principle Investigator/President
Policy Research Associates, Inc.
345 Delaware Avenue
Delmar, NY 12054
Phone: 518-439-7415 ext.229
Fax: 518-439-7612
Email: hsteadman@prainc.com

Donna Aligata
Center Director
Policy Research Associates, Inc.
345 Delaware Avenue
Delmar, NY 12054
Phone: 518-439-7415 ext.265/860-295-9773
Fax: 518-439-7612
Email: daligata@prainc.com

Jordanna Mallach
Assistant Center Director
Policy Research Associates, Inc.
345 Delaware Avenue
Delmar, NY 12054
Phone: 518-439-7415 ext.268
Fax: 518-439-7612
Email: jmallach@prainc.com

Terri Hay
Contract Manager
Policy Research Associates, Inc.
345 Delaware Avenue
Delmar, NY 12054
Phone: 518-439-7415 ext.276
Fax: 518-439-7612
Email: thay@prainc.com

Jody Zabel, M.A.
Project Associate
Policy Research Associates, Inc.
345 Delaware Avenue
Delmar, NY 12054
Phone: 518-439-7415 ext.231
Fax: 518-439-7612
Email: jzabel@prainc.com

Nicholas Meyer
Project Assistant
Policy Research Associates, Inc.
345 Delaware Avenue
Delmar, NY 12054
Phone: 518-439-7415 ext.258
Fax: 518-439-7612
Email: nmeyer@prainc.com\

 

Last updated: 3/14/2011