The Current Needs of Americans with Serious Mental Illnesses (SMI) and Serious Emotional Disturbances (SED)
The definition of SMI includes one or more diagnoses of mental disorders combined with significant impairment in functioning. Schizophrenia, bipolar illness, and major depressive disorder are the diagnoses most commonly associated with SMI, but people with one or more other disorders may also fit the definition of SMI if those disorders result in functional impairment. The definition of SED is similar to SMI, but applies to children and youth; it requires the presence of a diagnosable mental, behavioral or emotional disorder and substantial functional impairment.
Key Advances in Research on SMI and SED
This is an exciting time, and many innovations are available to help federal departments, states, and providers meet the needs of people with SMI and SED and their families. Learn about key advances in research on as well as strategies to improve services for people with SMI and SED.
In December 2016, the 21st Century Cures Act was signed into law. Through this Act (Public Law 114-255), the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) was established to make recommendations for actions that federal departments can take to better coordinate the administration of mental health services for adults with a serious mental illness or children with a serious emotional disturbance.
Recommendations to Improve Federal Coordination
The non-federal members of the ISMICC created a set of recommendations aimed at coordinating the efforts of federal departments to develop a comprehensive continuum of care focused on improving outcomes for people of all ages with SMI and SED, and promoting evidence-based practices and a strong community-based system of care. Organized within five main areas of focus, the recommendations aim to realize the ISMICC vision.
Full Report and Executive Summary
The Way Forward: Actions to Improve Access, Quality and Affordability of Care to Persons with SMI and SED
Federal staff from 10 departments and agencies have collectively organized and coordinated activities to better address the needs of people with SMI and SED and their families. Read ISMICC related products and monthly newsletters and blogs on actions to address ISMICC recommendations.
- February ISMICC Newsletter (PDF | 107 KB)
- March 2018 Blog (PDF | 159 KB)
- April 2018 Blog (PDF | 569 KB)
- May 2018 Blog (PDF | 310 KB)
- August 2018 Blog (PDF | 183 KB)
- September 2018 Blog (PDF | 246 KB)
- October 2018 Blog (PDF | 170 KB)
- SAMHSA Expert Panel on Best Practices in Statewide Real-time Crisis Bed Databases (PPT | 2.5 MB)