It is my pleasure to announce that Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, M.P.H., has joined SAMHSA as the first Director of the National Mental Health and Substance Use Policy Laboratory. The Policy Lab was created as part of the 21st Century Cures Act and promotes innovation and the dissemination and adoption of evidence-based practices and service delivery models related to mental health and substance use, including through the evaluation of models that would benefit from further development and through expanding, replicating, or scaling evidence-based programs, policies, and practices.
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Cindy Kemp helps people with serious mental illnesses get the help, treatment services and recovery supports they need, so they can lead healthy lives.
Substance misuse is a major issue on college campuses. Young adults, including college students, have the highest rates of behavioral health needs and the lowest rates of help-seeking behavior.We’re confronting these problems head on. I’m pleased to share that SAMHSA has a new information kit aimed at college and university prevention practitioners, health center staff and administrators. The Behavioral Health Among College Students Information & Resource Kit—which includes fact sheets, extensive resources, PowerPoint slides, and more—supports substance misuse prevention and mental health promotion initiatives on college and university campuses.
As we observe World AIDS Day on December 1, we remember those we’ve lost to the disease, reflect on the progress we’ve made in treating patients, and resolve to end the HIV and AIDS epidemic. SAMHSA’s role in ending HIV is vitally important because the people we are charged with caring for – those with a mental or substance use disorder – are disproportionately affected by HIV.The good news is we have seen great success in treating HIV infection over the past 20 years. In fact, a 20-year old who is diagnosed today with HIV can have a near normal life expectancy if they take antiretroviral medication every day and maintain an undetectable level of virus in their blood.
The 2017 Voice Awards focusing on military and veteran communities struck a chord with me. As a retired captain in the Navy Reserve and the spouse of a U.S. Marine, I know what life in this community is like. I understand the realities, complexities, joys and hardships. But most importantly, I know how resilient this community is. We truly find strength in each other.
At this year’s Voice Awards, I had the opportunity to honor an exemplary group of community champions and entertainment professionals. Through their work and personal stories of resilience, the Voice Awards honorees inspire hope through their efforts to increase understand of behavioral health issues, and make it easier for individuals and families to seek help.
Work or other meaningful activity is an essential component of recovery. That’s why I applaud the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) for focusing on mental health in the workplace on World Mental Health Day, October 10, 2017. In conjunction with the event, the WFMH released a comprehensive report looking at the issue from the perspective of workers, employers, and the world economy. Supporting people in entering or remaining in the workforce boosts the economy and reduces societal costs, and helps people maintain recovery.