181232 In Pursuit of a Comprehensive Community-Based System of Care: Findings from the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Evaluation

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 12:45 PM

Scott Green, PhD , Altarum Institute, Washington, DC, DC
Namratha Swamy, PhD , Altarum Institute, Washington, DC, DC
Halima Ahmadi, MPH , Community Health Systems - Policy, planning, and evaluation practice area, Altarum Institute, Washington, DC
The Community Mental Health Services Block Grant program (CMHS BG) is the largest Federal program that assists States in providing mental health services. States are awarded federal funds through the CMHS BG to improve access to community-based health care delivery systems for people with serious mental illnesses who quickly exhaust available insurance benefits. States utilize these funds in innovative ways to target gaps in services and to achieve a system of care that delivers high quality services. This presentation describes findings from the first-ever independent evaluation of the BG program and illustrates at the national level, the programs and practices implemented by States to support a community-based system of care. Analysis of State-reported data reveals a broad spectrum of key accomplishments achieved with the use of CMHS BG funds in areas such as advocacy, continuity of care, suicide prevention, and early intervention. These data are supplemented by interviews and surveys of key Federal, State, and community stakeholders involved in the implementation and oversight of the CMHS BG. The evaluation provides a unique opportunity to obtain a deeper understanding of Federal, State, provider, and consumer perceptions of the CMHS BG program and highlights the Federal-State partnership in addressing mental health needs.

Learning Objectives:
1. Attendees will gain a deeper appreciation of key challenges facing States in implementing comprehensive mental health systems of care addressing adults with SMI and children with SED 2. Attendees will have a better understanding of States’ innovative uses of CMHS BG funds to achieve a comprehensive mental health system of care.

Keywords: Mental Health System, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I served as Project Manager of the CMHS Block Grant Evaluation and have expertise in mental health system research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.