Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about SAMHSA and the SAMHSA.gov website.

About SAMHSA

What is SAMHSA?

Established by Congress in 1992, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation.

Learn more about SAMHSA.

What does SAMHSA do?

SAMHSA provides leadership, supports programs and services, and devotes resources to helping the United States act on the knowledge that behavioral health is essential to health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover.

Learn more about SAMHSA's Strategic Initiatives and how they frame SAMHSA's work.

What are SAMHSA’s priorities?

As a public agency within the HHS, SAMHSA focuses on the behavioral health needs of all Americans by serving as a national voice through policy development and strategic initiatives.

How do I contact SAMHSA?

To contact SAMHSA, visit the Contact Us page. This page contains information about where the office is located as well as how to contact the various offices within SAMHSA. You also can connect with SAMHSA through social media.

How do I sign up for email updates?

Sign up to receive email updates from SAMHSA on the latest information about preventing, treating, and accessing services that address mental and substance use disorders.

How can I make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to SAMHSA?

First search the SAMHSA.gov site to see if the information you want is already publicly available. If you can’t find what you need, you may submit a FOIA request to obtain the records. SAMHSA charges fees for some requests.

Learn more about making a FOIA request and associated fees.

Health Information on SAMHSA.gov

How do I find information on suicide prevention, underage drinking, or other behavioral health topics?

SAMHSA provides a wide variety of resources and information about a number of topics, ranging from how behavioral health impacts specific racial and ethnic populations to different types of mental health issues. Topics also highlight the behavioral health needs of people within systems, such as the military or criminal and juvenile justice systems. Other topics include information in areas of disaster preparedness response and recovery, homelessness, and state and local government efforts that support greater access to behavioral health services.

Learn more at Topics.

Where can I find help?

SAMHSA offers a number of ways to connect people with reliable, reputable sources for assistance with behavioral health issues.

Treatment

The Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator is the first step to finding appropriate services, conveniently located near home or the workplace. Go to the Treatment Services Locator web page and enter your zip code or city, and the locator will help you narrow your search to mental health facilities, substance use treatment facilities, or health care facilities.

The National Helpline—1-800-662-HELP (4357)—provides 24-hour free and confidential treatment referral and information about mental and/or substance use disorders, prevention, and recovery in English and Spanish.

Suicide Prevention

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline—1-800-273-TALK (8255)—is a SAMHSA-funded, toll-free hotline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Lifeline is available in more than 150 languages. You can also report a suicide-related comment posted on Facebook.

Behavioral Health

The National Helpline—1-800-662-HELP (4357)—provides 24-hour free and confidential treatment referral and information about mental and/or substance use disorders, prevention, and recovery in English and Spanish.

Experiencing a natural or human-caused disaster can cause stress, anxiety, or depression-like symptoms. SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline offers assistance from the nearest crisis center to provide information, support, and counseling.

The Veteran’s Crisis Line connects veterans in crisis (and their families and friends) with qualified responders from the Department of Veterans Affairs through a toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. This confidential support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Opioid Treatment

The Opioid Treatment Program Directory helps people find local treatment programs by state.

To locate physicians and treatment programs authorized to treat opioid addiction with buprenorphine, use the buprenorphine physician and treatment program locator.

Learn more about finding help and treatment services for mental and/or substance abuse issues.

How can I help?

Whether you are a government official, a behavioral or mental health professional, or a concerned citizen, SAMHSA has a number of programs and campaigns that you can participate in right in your community. If a certain program does not already exist, SAMHSA offers tools and training to help you launch campaigns and programs of your own or connect with individuals that can help you do so.

Learn more about Child Mental Health Awareness Day, National Recovery Month, National Prevention Week, and Promote Acceptance.

Where can I find reports and data on behavioral health issues?

The Data, Outcomes, and Quality section on SAMHSA.gov is a one-stop resource that can be searched by topic to assist in any research effort. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) is another resource that is home to SAMHSA’s many reports and data.

The SAMHSA store offers a range of products for behavioral health professionals, educators, parents, children, and young adults. Products include reports, guidelines, manuals, brochures, CDs, videos, and training kits. Most are free of charge. Some are available in languages other than English.

Grants and Funding at SAMHSA

Who can apply for a SAMHSA grant?

SAMHSA grants are open to U.S. public and non-profit entities. Check for any additional eligibility requirements in the grant’s Request for Applications (RFAs), or on Grants.gov, to see if you are eligible to apply for that specific grant.

How do I apply for a SAMHSA grant?

Application requirements for each grant are provided in the appendix of the RFA.

Learn more about applying for a new SAMHSA grant.

Jobs at SAMHSA

How do I apply for a job at SAMHSA?

To browse and apply for open positions at SAMHSA, visit USAJOBS: Jobs at SAMHSA.

If you are an active duty Public Health Service (PHS) Commissioned Corps officer or an applicant who has been approved for commissioning into the PHS Commissioned Corps, you may apply for a specific SAMHSA job announcement on USAJOBS. Be sure to indicate on your application that you are a “PHS officer or PHS applicant.”

SAMHSA.gov Website

Who owns and operates the SAMHSA.gov website?

The SAMHSA website at www.SAMHSA.gov is maintained by the Office of Communications. Technical support and hosting of the system is provided by SAMHSA’s Division of Technology Management within the Office of Management, Technology, and Operations.

What is the purpose of the SAMHSA.gov website?

The purpose of the SAMHSA website is to support the mission of SAMHSA. The SAMHSA website serves the public by offering ready access to:

  • SAMHSA data
  • Health and wellness information
  • Information on obtaining grant funding
  • Resources on the prevention, treatment, and recovery services for mental and substance use disorders
  • News, events, and educational activities related to SAMHSA and its mission
  • General information about the agency, its priorities, history, organizational structure, staff, and facilities

Is the content on SAMHSA.gov copyrighted or free to use?

Most of the information on the SAMHSA.gov website is in the public domain and can be used without charge or restriction. Citation of the original source is appreciated. However, publications downloaded or ordered from SAMHSA may not be reproduced or distributed for a fee without the specific, written authorization of the Office of Communications, SAMHSA, and HHS.

May I link to the SAMHSA.gov website?

Unless noted otherwise, it is safe to assume that information posted on public websites within the "SAMHSA.GOV" domain is considered to be "in the public domain." As such, you are free to establish links to SAMHSA online resources. In establishing such links, please avoid creating the impression that SAMHSA is endorsing or promoting any particular product or service.

Will SAMHSA.gov link to my website?

As a federal agency, SAMHSA cannot endorse or promote commercial or individual interests or services. In some cases, where the information serves the public good and is consistent with SAMHSA’s mission, we may include an outside link to an external resource.

Does SAMHSA.gov have a privacy policy posted online?

Yes, SAMHSA does have a privacy notice.

What if I have a question this FAQ did not answer?

For more information about the SAMHSA website, contact:

SAMHSA’s Office of Communications
240-276-2130
SAMHSAInfo@SAMHSA.hhs.gov

Last Updated: 05/02/2017