OBHE promotes policy initiatives that strengthen the impact of SAMHSA programs in advancing behavioral health equity.
Disparity Impact Strategy
Led by OBHE, SAMHSA’s disparity impact strategy is an agency-wide initiative to incorporate a focus and understanding of behavioral health disparities in SAMHSA’s work, specifically its grant programs. The intent of the disparity impact strategy is to increase the identification and monitoring of behavioral health disparities, and to implement changes to reduce these disparities. This includes developing and implementing policies and procedures that adhere to the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care. SAMHSA requires a disparity impact statement (DIS) for all new grant awards. Examples of a DIS for different grant programs and a DIS job-support aide (PDF | 707 KB) can be accessed on the SAMHSA Grants page for Special Conditions of Awards for Behavioral Health Disparity.
Issue Briefs and Guides
- Strategies for Outreaching and Engaging Communities of Color: A Pathway to Reducing Disparities of Color This brief guidance from SAMHSA’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity aims to assist State leadership and State grant recipients achieve greater inclusion of people of color in SAMHSA investments and programs.
- Double Jeopardy: COVID-19 and Behavioral Health Disparities for Black and Latino Communities in the U.S. (PDF | 426 KB) This issue brief provides an overview of the key issues, data, strategies, and resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the behavioral health disparities experienced by Black and Latino Communities in the U.S.
- The Opioid Crisis and the Hispanic/Latino Population: An Urgent Issue (also available in Spanish) This issue brief presents data on prevalence of opioid misuse & death rates in the Hispanic/Latino population; contextual factors & challenges to prevention & treatment; innovative outreach & engagement strategies to connect people to evidence-based treatment; and the importance of community voice.
- The Opioid Crisis and the Black/African American Population: An Urgent Issue This issue brief provides an overview of the contextual factors influencing opioid misuse and opioid use disorder in Black/African American communities, highlights outreach and engagement strategies for prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions, and illustrates the importance of ongoing community voice and leadership in addressing the opioid crisis.
- Racism, Discrimination, and Child Development This technical assistance response from SAMHSA’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity describes selected key research, literature, and resources related to racism, discrimination, and child development.
- Trauma, Racism, Chronic Stress and the Health of Black Americans This technical assistance response from SAMHSA’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity describes selected key research related to trauma, racism, chronic stress and the health of Black Americans.
- A Roadmap to Behavioral Health: A Guide to Using Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Services A companion guide to the CMS Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You. This guide provides instruction on how to use mental health and substance use disorder services (available in English (PDF | 833) and Spanish (PDF | 837 KB)). Una Guía Hacia la Salud de Conducta (PDF | 837 KB) Una guía sobre cómo usar los servicios para los trastornos de salud mental y de abuso de sustancias.
- Advancing Best Practices in Behavioral Health for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Boys and Men This brief highlights existing programs that address behavioral health disparities among Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander boys and young men. It also outlines effective tools and best practices in working with this population.
- A Snapshot of Behavioral Health Issues for Asian American/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Boys and Men: Jumpstarting an Overdue Conversation This brief highlights issues specific to Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander males. It provides clinicians with data on the prevalence of depression, suicide, and substance use disorders within these populations.