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Psychiatr Serv. 2009 Nov;60(11):1532-4. doi: 10.1176/

Achieving recognition that mental health is part of the mission of CDC.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


For much of its history the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considered mental health to be outside of its mission. That assumption persisted even after CDC became a leading public health agency and began to face important mental health issues. This narrative describes how the organizational paradigm indicating that mental health was not mission related was challenged and superseded by a new paradigm recognizing mental health as part of CDC's public health mission. Even after the CDC Mental Health Work Group's establishment in 2000, CDC took eight more years to overcome powerful remnants of the old paradigm that had for so long excluded, minimized, or discouraged attention to mental health. The CDC Mental Health Work Group led the agency's mental health efforts without funding or dedicated staffing but with more than 100 CDC professionals from multiple disciplines and centers serving as voluntary members, in addition to their other CDC responsibilities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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