The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) was established on March 15, 2017, in accordance with the 21st Century Cures Act (PL 114-255, Sec. 6031). The ISMICC is governed by the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees.
Review the ISMICC Charter (PDF | 76 KB) to learn more about the work of the committee.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) is established in accordance with the provisions of section 6031 of Public Law 114-255, the 21st Century Cures Act. The ISMICC is governed by the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (as amended, 5 U.S.C. App.), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees.
Objectives and Scope of Activities
The Secretary of HHS (Secretary) is required by section 6031 of the 21st Century Cures Act to establish a committee to be known as the ISMICC. Not later than 1(one) year after the date of enactment of the 21st Century Cures Act, and 5 (five) years after such date of enactment, the ISMICC shall submit a report to Congress and any other relevant federal department or agency.
Description of Duties
The reports to Congress and any other relevant federal department or agency will include: (1) a summary of advances in serious mental illness (SMI) and serious emotional disturbance (SED) research related to the prevention of, diagnosis of, intervention in, and treatment and recovery of SMIs, SEDs, and advances in access to services and support for adults with SMI or children with SED; (2) an evaluation of the effect federal programs related to serious mental illness have on public health, including public health outcomes such as (A) rates of suicide, suicide attempts, incidence and prevalence of SMIs, SEDs, and substance use disorders, overdose, overdose deaths, emergency hospitalizations, emergency room boarding, preventable emergency room visits, interaction with the criminal justice system, homelessness, and unemployment; (B) increased rates of employment and enrollment in educational and vocational programs; (C) quality of mental and substance use disorders treatment services; or (D) any other criteria as may be determined by the Secretary; and (3) specific recommendations for actions that agencies can take to better coordinate the administration of mental health services for adults with SMI or children with SED.
Agency or Official to Whom the Committee Reports
The ISMICC reports to the Secretary or his/her designee. The Secretary designates the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use as the Chair of the ISMICC.
Management and support services shall be provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Estimate Annual Operating Costs and Staff Years
The estimated annual cost for operating the ISMICC, including compensation and travel expenses for members but excluding staff support and expenses for federal staff, is $44,478.00. The estimate of annual staff support required is 1 (one) full-time equivalent, at an estimated annual cost of $120,924.00.
Designated Federal Officer
The Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use shall designate a SAMHSA staff member to serve as the Designated Federal Official (DFO) of the ISMICC. The DFO will prepare and approve all meeting agendas, attend all meetings, adjourn any meeting when the DFO determines adjournment to be in the public interest, chair meetings when directed to do so by the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, and consistent with the Charter perform any other duties as assigned by the Assistant Secretary related to ISMICC activities.
Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings
The Chair of the meetings will call the meetings to order. The ISMICC shall meet not fewer than two times each year. The location of the meetings of the ISMICC shall be subject to the approval of the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use.
The ISMICC meetings shall be open to the public except as determined otherwise by the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, in accordance with the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b(c)) and the FACA. Notice of all meetings shall be given to the public. There will be opportunities for the public to comment prior to and during each meetings. In the event a portion of a meeting is closed to the public, a report shall be prepared which shall contain, at a minimum, a list of members, the ISMICC’s functions, dates, places of meetings, and a summary of ISMICC activities and recommendations made during the fiscal year.
The ISMICC will sunset six years after establishment, after which the Secretary shall submit a recommendation to Congress on whether to extend the operation of the ISMICC.
The charter for the ISMICC will be renewed every two years until the ISMICC terminates six years after establishment.
Membership and Designation
This ISMICC will consist of federal members listed below or their designees and non-federal public members.
Federal Membership: The ISMICC will be composed of the following federal members or their designees:
- The Secretary;
- The Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use;
- The Attorney General;
- The Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs;
- The Secretary of the Department of Defense;
- The Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development;
- The Secretary of the Department of Education;
- The Secretary of the Department of Labor;
- The Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; and
- The Commissioner of the Social Security Administration.
Non-federal Membership: The ISMICC shall also include not less than 14 non-federal public members appointed by the Secretary of which:
- At least two individuals who have received treatment for a diagnosis of a SMI;
- A parent or legal guardian of an adult with a history of SMI or a child with a history of SED;
- A representative of a leading research, advocacy, or service organization for adults with SMI;
- At least two members who are one of the following:
- A licensed psychiatrist with experience treating SMI;
- A licensed psychologist with experience in treating SMI or SED;
- A licensed clinical social worker with experience treating SMIs or SEDs; or
- A licensed psychiatric nurse, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant with experience in treating SMIs or SEDs.
- A licensed mental health professional with a specialty in treating children and adolescents with a SED;
- A mental health professional who has research or clinical mental health experience in working with minorities;
- A mental health professional who has research or clinical mental health experience in working with medically underserved populations;
- A state certified mental health peer support specialist;
- A judge with experience in adjudicating cases related to criminal justice or SMI;
- A law enforcement officer or corrections officer with extensive experience in interfacing with adults with a SMI, children with SED, or individuals in a mental health crisis; and
- An individual with experience providing services for homeless individuals and working with adults with SMI, children with a SED, or individuals in a mental health crisis.
SAMHSA will publish a Federal Register Notice (FRN) soliciting nominations for the nonfederal members of the ISMICC. SAMHSA will solicit candidates to fill vacancies on the ISMICC from individuals and organizations. SAMHSA will solicit nominations from mental health constituent organizations that are likely to have greater knowledge of potential candidates. SAMHSA will also seek qualified candidates from professional societies, academia, patients and family organizations, and the public. The DFO will also seek nominations from appropriate staff within SAMHSA, other Operational Divisions in HHS, and other federal, state, and local government agencies.
Through recommendations from within and outside the Department and constituent groups, as well as those who apply as a result of the FRN, the DFO develops a list of recommended candidates. The list of candidates is reviewed by the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, who makes the decision of candidates to forward to the Secretary for consideration as members of the ISMICC. Afterwards, potential candidates are contacted regarding their availability and interest in serving on the ISMICC. The nomination package is then forwarded to the Secretary from the Assistant Secretary for approval. Formal letters of invitation to serve on the ISMICC, signed by the Secretary, are forwarded to the candidates for consideration and acceptance.
The term of office of a non-federal member of the ISMICC shall be for three years, subject to reappointment to serve for one or more additional three year terms. If a vacancy occurs in the ISMICC among the members, the Secretary shall make an appointment to fill such vacancy within 90 days from the date the vacancy occurs. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy for an unexpired term shall be appointed for the remainder of such term. A member may serve after the expiration of the member’s term until a successor has been appointed. Initial appointments shall be made in such a manner as to ensure that the terms of the members not all expire in the same year.
SAMHSA shall provide orientation and training for new members of the ISMICC for their effective participation in the functions of the ISMICC.
In carrying out its functions, the ISMICC may establish working groups. Working groups shall be composed of ISMICC members, or their designees, and may hold meetings as are necessary. Working groups composed of members of the ISMICC may be established by the parent ISMICC with the approval of the Secretary. Recommendations of a working group must be deliberated by the ISMICC. A working group may not provide advice or work products directly to HHS. The DFO will be notified upon establishment of each working group and will be provided information on its name, membership, function, and estimated frequency of meetings.
Meetings of the ISMICC and its working groups will be conducted according to the FACA, other applicable laws, and Departmental policies. The ISMICC and working group records will be handled in accordance with General Records Schedule, 6.2, Federal Advisory Committee Records or other approved disposition schedule. These records will be available for public inspection and copying, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.
Thomas E. Price, M.D.
Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services