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News and Notes   |    
SAMHSA Outlines Strategic Initiatives for 2011–2014
Psychiatric Services 2011; doi:
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Copyright © 2011 by the American Psychiatric Association.

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a report on the agency's strategic initiatives for the next four years. The introduction acknowledges the opportunities presented by health care reform and by the growing evidence base on treatments along with the challenges introduced by major cutbacks in state budgets and the need for fiscal restraint.

The following eight strategic initiatives will guide SAMHSA as it sets budget and policy priorities; manages grants, contracts, technical assistance, agency staff, and interagency efforts; engages partners; and measures and communicates progress.

Prevention. Creating communities where individuals, families, schools, faith-based organizations, and workplaces take action to promote emotional health and reduce the likelihood of disorders.

Trauma and justice. Reducing the harmful impact of violence and trauma by integrating trauma-informed approaches into all systems that address the behavioral health needs of people involved in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

Military families. Supporting service men and women along with their families by leading efforts to ensure that needed services are accessible and that outcomes are positive.

Recovery support. Partnering with people in recovery and family members to guide the behavioral health system and promote approaches that foster health and resilience; increase permanent housing, employment, education, and other necessary supports; and reduce discriminatory barriers.

Health reform. Increasing access to appropriate prevention, treatment, and recovery services; reducing disparities between the availability of services for behavioral health disorders and for other medical conditions; and supporting integrated, coordinated care.

Health information technology. Ensuring that the behavioral health system, including states, community providers, and peer and prevention specialists, fully participates with the overall care delivery system in the adoption of health information technology and electronic health records.

Data, outcomes, and quality. Realizing an integrated data strategy and a national framework for quality improvement in behavioral health care that will inform policy, measure program impact, and lead to improved services and outcomes.

Public awareness and support. Increasing public understanding of disorders and the many pathways to recovery to promote prevention and help people recognize disorders, seek assistance, and expect recovery.

The 113-page report, Leading Change: A Plan for SAMHSA's Roles and Actions 2011–2014, is available for download at store.samhsa.gov/product/SMA11-4629.

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