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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
July/August 2009, Volume 17, Number 4 

Graphic representation of the years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014

Forecasting the Next 5 Years

Focusing on People-Centered, Recovery- Oriented Mental Health Services

“As a Nation, we’re deep in the conversation about health reform,” said A. Kathryn Power, M.Ed., Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). “That includes embracing the truth that mental health is key to overall health.”

In a recent interview, Ms. Power talked about her article, “A Public Health Model of Mental Health for the 21st Century,” published in the May 2009 issue of the journal Psychiatric Services.

“At CMHS, we wanted to make a strategic forecast going from 2008 forward to 2013 in the context of the new Administration, the discussion of health care reform, and what we see evolving in mental health services,” Ms. Power said. “The article describes the collective thought process behind embracing change and accepting transformation of the health care system as part of our future. We’re already adapting the public health model. As a Nation, we’re turning our focus toward health and away from illness. That means person-centered care. Recovery-oriented care. Community-minded care.”

To get buy-in from the mental health field, CMHS initiated an extended dialogue among stakeholders.

Looking back at the past 5 years, they helped forecast the next 5 years. Recurring themes included recovery as the expected outcome for mental illnesses, a customer-focused workforce in place, consumers directing their own care, use of evidence-based practices as the expected norm for services, and quality-driven, outcomes-focused systems operating to allow for continuous improvement.

“It’s all about applying what we’ve learned from our transformation work,” said Ms. Power. For more information, visit the CMHS Web site.

Basic Strategies

“To move ahead, creating whole health, person-centered health care demands strategic change in several basic areas,” Ms. Power said, describing these strategies as a “natural outgrowth” of the CMHS vision. Specifically, the eight strategies are:

Public Health Strategy. Build the information base and resources on the promotion of mental health and the prevention of mental illnesses. The concepts of mental health promotion and mental illness prevention rest on the knowledge that mental health exists on a continuum, with neither health nor illness existing in pure isolation from one another.

Policy Strategies. Coordinate the role of mental health in evolving health reform, including the development of a national mental health policy. Mental health needs to be a top priority for our national dialogue and legislative action.

In addition, link health determinants to policy development in mental health and general health care. Without action to address the broader personal, social, economic, and environmental factors that affect health and well-being, both individual and community health suffers.

As a policy priority, CMHS should lead the way in development of a standard mental health insurance benefit package.

Practice Strategies. Help states and communities adopt whole health, person-centered health care. Great strides have already been made in adopting recovery-oriented, person-centered health care, but some regions still need help.

In addition, there is a need to educate, train, and support a 21st century workforce. A culturally competent, multidisciplinary, high-tech health care environment is required.

Financing Strategy. Cultivate leaders in the public and private sectors who are informed about all aspects of mental health financing. CMHS is well positioned to help create shared objectives for public and private payers of mental health services to promote person-centered care.

Science to Service Strategy. Disseminate evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence by mapping resources to need. To address gaps in services, CMHS plans to make evidence-based practices available to those who need them most.

Leadership Strategy. Empower and mobilize leaders to shape, inform, and guide the mental health and general health care fields. Transformational leaders are needed for real change in the status quo. Those will include consumers, family members, and health care providers.

Performance Management Strategy. Develop a performance management culture that uses data to make financing and programmatic decisions. Results are key for programs that use public funds to provide health care services. Specific tools, reports, and surveillance are needed.

Technology Strategy. Harness evolving technology to promote involvement in treatment, services, and policy. Electronic communications, including the Internet, can promote health literacy, disseminate health messages, and support healthy behaviors.

“Looking ahead 5 years,” Ms. Power said, “the core change I hope to see is Americans wholeheartedly accepting the notion that mental health is essential to overall health and acting upon that truth. That’s the sea change we’re seeking.”

For more information, visit the CMHS Web site.

Citation: Power, A. K. A Public Health Model of Mental Health for the 21st Century. Psychiatric Services. 60:580-584 (2009).



  Statistics on Substance Abuse,  
  Mental Health  
State by State Estimates

State by State Estimates

Every state faces a different set of challenges with substance abuse and mental health issues, including binge drinking and depression.

Treatment Discharges: Latest Data

Treatment Discharges: Latest Data

SAMHSA's Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) recently updated its data on discharges from treatment facilities.


  Treatment Updates  
TIP 50: Literature Review

TIP 50: Literature Review

Part 3 of TIP 50, Addressing Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Substance Abuse Treatment, is available.

Alcohol Abuse Treatment: Need, Barriers

Many people who need treatment for an alcohol problem are not seeking help. Why?

National Directory Updated and Available

National Directory Updated and Available

An updated guide to finding local substance abuse treatment programs is available.


  Real Warrior Campaign  
Reaching Out Makes a Real Difference

Reaching Out Makes a Real Difference

The Real Warriors Campaign is fighting the stigma of asking for help.


  Prevention Update  
Retail Tobacco Sales to Youth

Retail Tobacco Sales to Youth

Retail sales of tobacco products to young people continue to drop.

Parent Involvement Makes a Difference

Parent Involvement Makes a Difference

Parents play an important role in preventing substance abuse.

Suicide Prevention Update

Suicide Prevention Update

New funding, Web site redesign to improve navigation, and more.


  Grants  
Prevention Awards

Prevention Awards

To advance community-based prevention programs, $190 million to 25 grantees.

Calculating Program Allotments

A new guide provides information on procedures to calculate allocations for some key block and formula grants.

Drug Free Communities: Continuation Awards

More than 500 community coalitions nationwide recently received Drug Free Communities (DFC) continuation awards for their programs.


  Health Reform  
Nine Core Principles

Nine Core Principles

Ensuring current reform efforts include mental health and substance abuse issues.


  Mental Health  
Forecasting the Next 5 Years

Forecasting the Next 5 Years

Changes are coming to create “whole health,” person-centered care.


  Adolescents & Young Adults  
Need Treatment? Many Say No

Need Treatment? Many Say No

Nearly 7 million Americans age 18 to 25 were classified as needing treatment in the past year.


  Recovery Month  
Celebrating 20 Years of Recovery

Celebrating 20 Years of Recovery

Get up–to–the–minute updates on September's events.


  Also in this Issue  
Under the Influence: Fathers and Alcohol Use

Under the Influence: Fathers and Alcohol Use

Does dad's drinking affect his adolescent children?

Methadone Advisory

New information on the dangers of methadone in combination with other drugs.



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