American Mental Health

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George Bush developed the Commission on Mental Health Services (CMHS) in response to the obstacles that exist for people to receive adequate mental health care in the US. The CMHS came up with six goals to transform our mental health care in the US. First goal is to successfully have Americans understand that mental health is essential to your overall well-being (Achieving the Promise). Often times, too many Americans are not knowledgeable about the different types of mental illnesses and there specific types of treatments that can be offered to recover from the specific disorder.

Furthermore, many people are unaware of the fact that treatment early on can solve the problem and by not treating these issues, various times can be very consequential to the patient’s life. The second goal of this organization is that mental health care is consumer and family driven. Consumers of these services are often overwhelmed and confused about how to access the services that are needed to receive disability benefits for multiple, disconnected programs that span Federal, State, and local agencies, as well as the private sector.

Mostly this goal is to improve service coordination, make informed choices that will lead to improved individual outcomes, and achieve and sustain recovery for the patient. To help aid the consumers with needs for multiple services and supports, the burden of coordination and accessibility to care should not be solely the responsibility of the family or patient receiving the care, but should be shared with the service providers (Achieving the Promise). The third goal is to eliminate disparities in mental health services.

Unfortunately, the mental health system is not adequate to treat the different needs of the racial and ethnic minority groups. The system has consistently neglected to understand and incorporate the diverse beliefs, traditions, languages, histories, and value systems of these culturally different groups of people. Fourth, is to receive early mental health screening, and referral to services as common practices for consumers of all ages, races, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds.

Studies have shown that the longer the periods of identification of the mental illness the harsher the impact on the life of that person can be. Next, is the fifth goal to provide excellent mental health care, and that research be accelerated. Numerous times, treatments and services based on vigorous clinical research take years to be able to become effective rather than being used at the earliest opportunity.

Too many times, specific medications for specific conditions are not available to be taken advantage of when they could be, and options like parent-child interaction therapy, medication algorithms, and family psycho-education are not being utilized when studies are showing that these types of treatments could vastly improve our mental health situations occurring throughout the US with our mental health patients. Lastly, is the sixth goal to use technology to access mental health care and information.

To be ultimately successful, systems must be carefully designed to produce care that is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable. “We already know that new technology that aids in administering medications can reduce medical errors and prevent death or unnecessary injuries… However, the technology and communications infrastructure in public and private mental health care lags far behind other sectors9” (Achieving the Promise). In my opinion, these goals are not being met; however they are on the right track for getting to the desired destination in solving these problems.

For example, the Department of Human and Health Services (HHS) will launch the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a public-private partnership that will oversee the creation of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Federal agencies will continue to support the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). The SPRC will provide help with planning, and implementation of the programs with the best evidence-based practices that have shown to be successful.

The HELP hotline is going to certify 200 suicide/crisis hotlines nationwide, and link the hotlines through a toll-free number, while still providing local mental health resources for their use. Also the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in the Department of HHS will assemble an interagency, public-private sector workgroup to plan, create, and begin coordinating and evaluating a targeted public education to improve the general understanding of mental illnesses and emotional disturbances, clearly define that recovery is possible, as well as encourage help-seeking activity across our population in the US.

The CMHS goals have clearly made a huge impact on other Federal, State, and local services provided to US citizens by just raising awareness of the problems occurring in the mental health of our society. Also, the CMHS goals helped in raising awareness to the opportunities and likelihood of recovery from these different scenarios (Transforming Mental Health Care in America).

Resources Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. “TRANSFORMING MENTAL HEALTH CARE IN AMERICA. ” – The Federal Action Agenda: First Steps. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, 12 Feb. 2009. Web. 21 June 2013. National Alliance on Mental Health. “Achieving the Promise. ” National Alliance On Mental Illness. N. p. , 1996. Web. 18 June 2013.

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