SAMHSA logo Report to Congress - Nov 2002








Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Chapter 5 - Five-Year Blueprint for Action - Effectiveness





Key Partnership Activities

Clearly, SAMHSA alone cannot guarantee the availability of effective services for all Americans with co-occurring substance abuse disorders and mental disorders. To that end, SAMHSA will expand its range of partnerships across organizations, populations, regions, and service systems. For example:

SAMHSA will continue its active involvement with the NASMHPD/NASADAD Joint Task Force on Co-Occurring Disorders. The Agency has asked the Task Force to examine how States respond to the treatment needs of individuals with co-occurring disorders who have either a serious mental illness and less severe substance abuse disorder (those represented by quadrant II of the conceptual framework), or a severe substance abuse disorder and less serious mental illness (quadrant III). These individuals are currently underrepresented in the research literature.

Because State Medicaid licensing and certification requirements may pose significant barriers to the development of appropriate treatment for people who have co-occurring disorders, SAMHSA will encourage the NASMHPD/NASADAD Joint Task Force to poll its members on the ways in which these barriers might be overcome. SAMHSA will support State-to-State technical assistance that highlights successful approaches to licensure and certification of programs for co-occurring disorders.

SAMHSA will continue to promote funding opportunities that recognize the need for collaborative efforts on behalf of people who have co-occurring disorders, not dissimilar to earlier programs such as the Women, Co-Occurring Disorders, and Violence Study; the Homeless Families Initiative; and the Primary Care Research Study in Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services for Elderly People.

SAMHSA will encourage all levels of government - State, tribal, county, and municipal - to develop collaborative relationships with their partners to foster coordination of services. SAMHSA will support State-to-State technical assistance to help States share information about the design and implementation of collaborative activities.

SAMHSA will continue its partnerships with all major constituent organizations and individuals and will encourage them to work together to foster greater awareness and understanding of co-occurring disorders, and to advocate for evidence-based practices, integrated treatment, and comprehensive systems of care.

National Summit on Co-Occurring Disorders

To further broaden its range of partnerships, SAMHSA will convene a National Summit on Co-Occurring Disorders to be held within one year of release of this report. Participants will include representatives of national mental health, substance abuse, faith-based and community organizations, and primary care constituencies: consumers/recovering persons, family members, providers, researchers, advocates, State and local authorities, and all Federal partners both within and outside the Department of Health and Human Services whose programs affect people who have or are at risk for co-occurring disorders (e.g., the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, Education, and Veterans Affairs; the Social Security Administration; the Office of National Drug Control Policy; the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; the Administration on Children and Families; the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; the Administration on Aging; the Health Resources and Services Administration; and the National Institutes of Health).

Summit participants will be encouraged to share practices and lessons learned in such areas as prevention, the adoption of evidence-based practices, funding, and service system change. The event will showcase programs that have been effective in addressing co-occurring disorders and will highlight effective prevention and early intervention strategies that address the various windows of opportunity in which co-occurring disorders may be prevented. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss joint initiatives and cross-funding opportunities that contribute to the development of comprehensive systems of care for people with co-occurring disorders. Their discussions will build on the constituent input gathered in preparation for the submission of this report to Congress.