Back Row from Left to Right: Charles Smith, Ph.D., Jon Perez, Ph.D., Dennis Romero, Jean Bennett, A. Kathryn Power, M.Ed., David Dickinson. Front Row from Left to Right: Jeffrey Coady, Psy.D., Laura Howard, J.D., Stephanie McCladdie, Michael Duffy, R.N., B.S.N.
Regional Administrators Bring Behavioral Health Nationwide
For the first time in its 20-year history, SAMHSA has a presence in each of the 10 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Regional Offices. In January, SAMHSA's Regional Administrators (RAs) began meeting with community leaders, state mental health and substance abuse authorities, and other SAMHSA stakeholders to gain a more thorough understanding of behavioral health issues that are affecting their states and regions. The primary goal for establishing SAMHSA's regional presence is to improve SAMHSA collaboration with other federal agencies and communication with states, territories, tribes, providers, and communities, as well as those who use SAMHSA-funded services and people in recovery. The SAMHSA RAs will be able to keep regions better informed of national policy, issues, and opportunities such as funding, joint programming, and cross training. They will also be able to highlight and share promising strategies and best practices among SAMHSA stakeholders.
The SAMHSA RAs have already begun creating strategies and activity plans to improve access to SAMHSA resources for tribal communities. They are also working to enhance recovery support and facilitate relationships between state behavioral health authorities and state National Guard in order to increase availability of SAMHSA resources to military families. In addition, the RAs are participating in ongoing regional workgroups to support initiatives such as the Million Hearts Campaign and National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, among others.
"SAMHSA's Regional Administrators are a strong, dynamic presence for behavioral health in every region of the nation—an important step to ensuring that behavioral health expertise is factored into the nation's overall health care system," says SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. "The Regional Administrators are available as a key resource for crucial behavioral health issues affecting the health and well-being of America's communities."
Learn more about SAMHSA's Regional Administrators at www.samhsa.gov/about/regions/.