The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is seeking comments on its FY 2015 – 2018 Strategic Plan “Leading Change 2.0: Advancing the Behavioral Health of the Nation” (Leading Change 2.0). Leading Change 2.0 outlines
how SAMHSA will efficiently focus its work to increase the awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders, promote emotional health and wellness, address the prevention of substance abuse and mental illness, increase access to effective treatment, and support recovery.
SAMHSA’s Executive Leadership Team and staff, in partnership with a variety of stakeholders, engaged in a strategic planning process to draft Leading Change 2.0. This process was informed by lessons learned from the current strategic plan, “Leading Change: A Plan for SAMHSA’s Roles and Actions 2011 – 2014,” and the evolving needs of the behavioral health field.
"This strategic roadmap outlines SAMHSA’s plans to build upon the success of its original strategic initiatives in promoting the behavioral health of the American people. SAMHSA cannot do this alone and so SAMHSA is seeking help and assistance from everyone with a stake in improving the nation’s behavioral health," said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “Public input is vital to ensuring that the new SAMHSA Strategic Initiatives are responsive to the behavioral health needs of the American public and have the greatest impact for today and in the immediate future."
Leading Change 2.0 summarizes SAMHSA’s current and environment and outlines a roadmap for the future improvement of health in America by reducing the impact of mental illnesses and substance abuse on the nation's communities. The agency is actively soliciting comments and input from outside experts and the general public on all elements of the plan. In this
plan, six strategic initiatives and the linkages between these initiatives and SAMHSA’s policy, programmatic, and financial planning are outlined.
The six strategic initiatives (SI) and their aims are:
Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness
This SI focuses on the prevention of substance abuse and minimizing the impact of mental illness by maximizing opportunities to create environments where youth, adults, families, communities and systems are motivated and empowered to manage their overall emotional, behavioral and physical health.
Health Care and Health Systems Integration
This SI focuses on integration in health care across systems including systems of particular importance for persons with behavioral health needs such as community health promotion, health care delivery, specialty behavioral health care, emergency care and response and community living needs.
Trauma and Justice
This SI provides a comprehensive public health approach to addressing trauma and establishing a trauma-informed approach in health, behavioral health, human services, and related systems with the intent to reduce both the observable and the less visible harmful effects of trauma and violence on children and youth, adults, families and communities.
This SI will promote partnering with people in recovery from mental and substance use disorders and their family members to guide the behavioral health system and promote individual, program, and system-level approaches that foster health and resilience. Programs will include helping individuals with behavioral health needs be well, manage symptoms, and achieve and maintain abstinence; increasing housing to support recovery; reducing barriers to employment, education, and other life goals; and securing necessary social supports in their chosen community.
Health Information Technology
This SI will ensure that the behavioral health system – including states, community providers, patients, peers, and prevention specialists – fully participate with the general healthcare delivery system in the adoption of health information technology (HIT), including interoperable electronic health records and the use of other electronic training, assessment, treatment, monitoring, and recovery support tools. The integration of HIT will ensure high-quality cohesive health care, appropriate specialty care, improved patient/consumer engagement, and effective prevention and wellness strategies.
This SI will support active strategies to strengthen and expand the behavioral health workforce, including those health care workers not considered behavioral health specialists.
Through technical assistance, training and focused programs, this initiative will strengthen the capabilities of an integrated, competent behavioral health workforce that enhances the availability and quality of prevention and treatment for substance abuse and mental illness.
Those interested in viewing and providing comments on SAMHSA’s Leading Change 2.0 FY 2015 – 2018 are encouraged to go to
to leave their suggestions and read the comments others have provided. The public comment period on the plan will continue until midnight Eastern Time on 8/18/2014.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.