One of the most important advances in treating serious mental illness in recent years is improving care for people experiencing a first onset of serious mental illness. We know that early phases of psychosis can be identified, and that team based coordinated specialty care treatment reduces the likelihood of long-term disability. SAMHSA’s new Early Serious Mental Illness Treatment Locator will help connect people experiencing a first onset of serious mental illness to effective care.
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SAMHSA joins national organizations and hundreds of communities in observing Mental Health Awareness Month, we have more possibilities than ever before to prevent, treat, and promote recovery from mental illness. The President and this Administration have made behavioral health a primary focus of its public health efforts, particularly opioid addiction and serious mental illness (SMI). I hope that you will join us in our efforts.A critical part of SAMHSA’s activities moving forward in the area of SMI is the work of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC). Formed in 2017, the ISMICC is a new Committee, included in a law called the 21st Century Cures Act, composed of federal and non-federal members.
Conventional wisdom says that there is a long delay between a research finding and putting that finding into practice. Based on treatments for hypertension, that delay is usually described as 17 years. So it is especially worth noting an announcement last week from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that 5 percent of the Mental Health Block Grant allocation would be used to implement evidence-based treatments for first episode psychosis (FEP).
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) are proud to support the important work being done in communities across the country to help those facing mental illness. We are collaborating to foster early intervention for serious mental illness. Early intervention is critical to treating mental illness before it can cause tragic results like serious impairment, unemployment, homelessness, poverty, and suicide.