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Psychiatr Serv. 2009 Apr;60(4):433-8. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.60.4.433.

Delivery of excellent mental health care and acceleration of research: federal activities since the President's Commission report.

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  • 1Office of Policy, Planning, and Budget, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1 Choke Cherry Rd., Rockville, MD 20857, USA. kevin.hennessy@samhsa.hhs.gov


The report of the President's New Freedom Commission set forth six goals and related recommendations to enable adults with serious mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbance to participate fully in their communities. This article focuses on goal 5--"Excellent mental health care is delivered and research is accelerated"--and its four related recommendations. The authors describe federal government activities undertaken since the report was released. To accelerate research, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has launched initiatives to find ways to interrupt the progress of schizophrenia and to identify interventions for combat veterans with mental health problems. To advance evidence-based practices, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has expanded and transformed its National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices and NIMH has launched a major research initiative to build the knowledge base for dissemination and implementation. To improve and expand the workforce, SAMHSA has published an action plan for workforce development and NIMH has established grants to develop curricula to integrate training in evidence-based practices into clinical training programs. To develop knowledge in understudied areas, NIMH has funded studies to reduce and eliminate disparities and SAMHSA has supported efforts to improve delivery of trauma-informed services, such as the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Continued advancement in goal 5 areas calls for commitment to working across agency and organizational boundaries to ensure more rapid and widespread dissemination and implementation of research and policies and for further development of ways to promote the participation of all stakeholders.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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