As I have traveled around the country I have said that behavioral health is essential to health – for individuals, families, and communities, as well as for the Nation’s health delivery systems, and I truly believe this. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. SAMHSA, together with many partners, has demonstrated that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover from mental and substance use disorders.
SAMHSA cannot achieve its desires, its goals, its mission alone. We need the help of partners and collaborators within the Federal government, at state, tribal, and local levels, and in the business and non-profit worlds. These partnerships enable SAMHSA to focus on far-reaching initiatives of its own in a changing health care environment, while identifying specific actions within larger national agendas to assure healthy communities throughout the country.
SAMHSA must address these needs with limited financial and human resources. To guide its work through 2012, SAMHSA has identified Eight Strategic Initiatives on which to concentrate its efforts. The Initiatives are:
- Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness;
- Trauma and Justice;
- Military families;
- Health Reform;
- Housing and Homelessness;
- Health Information Technology;
- Data, Outcomes and Quality; and
- Public Awareness and Support
To outline the direction and priorities SAMHSA will take over the next few years, a paper has been drafted to detail goals, priorities and action steps for forming the basis of SAMHSA’s Strategic Plan. The paper was developed based on discussions with Federal, state and local leaders, constituency groups, advisory council members, members of Congress, people in recovery and family members.
At this time the SAMHSA Draft Strategic Initiatives Paper is open for public comment and will remain so until October 22, 2010. If you feel a certain way about the paper, want to comment on ideas that have the greatest merit, or think that a specific issue or topic should be included or taken out, please let us know by commenting. Also, if you have questions please feel free to ask; we will do our best to answer your questions. We look forward to your feedback on a critical document that will guide SAMHSA during these historic times and the nation’s changing health care environment.