1: Increase Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services
Similar to the disparities in the overall healthcare system, disparities based on culture, race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, disability, and sexual orientation have an impact on the delivery and quality of care and outcomes in mental health. We need to target outreach and engagement strategies and treatment and services that are tailored to the backgrounds of individuals, families, and communities. In so doing, individuals and families should have access to and choice of both evidence-based medical supports as well as efficacious complementary and alternative services.
While the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act will help, more resources are required at both the state and federal levels to adequately provide needed quality mental health services.
2: Expand the Mental Health Workforce
3: Widen the Use of Health Information Technology
4: Educate the Public
5: Invest in Research
Future blogs will explore each of these points in more detail. Let us know what you think it will take to improve the mental health of the nation.
Visit http://www.samhsa.gov/priorities for more information on the priorities established by SAMHSA to improve the behavioral health system.