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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
State Mental Health Commissions: Recommendations for Change and Future Directions
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Treatable mental illnesses plague almost every setting in our communities, as clearly described in the landmark 1999 Surgeon General’s report on mental health (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999). Schools, penal institutions, juvenile justice facilities, child protection services, public welfare systems, nursing homes, and health care settings are all struggling to meet their primary missions in the face of the mental health problems confronted by their constituents. While families continue to be devastated by disorders that can be successfully treated, treatment may not be accessible or affordable.

Our community response to these problems is often inadequate. Although the public mental health system in the United States has many strengths, numerous weaknesses also exist. This report is a rallying cry for a much needed, rapidly-implemented change on the federal, state, and local levels that will build on system strengths and address weaknesses. (Authors)
Alexandria, VA