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Integrating Mental Health & Substance Abuse Strategies

Key Issues & Challenges

Addressing Mental Health & Substance Abuse (MH/SA) Problems in the Populations Served by Public Programs


Larry Bartlett, Ph.D., Health Systems Research, Inc., Washington, DC.

In this session, participants discussed the issues and challenges that they face within their own States in attempting to address the mental health and substance abuse needs of persons who are a part of the target populations for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), child welfare, juvenile justice, and other public programs.

Among those issues raised by participants were the following:

  • The important and challenging issue of ways to appropriately integrate MH/SA treatment.
  • The need to tailor strategies and interventions to the the particular environment and the needs of the target population to be served.
  • Strategies for making change happen, including the importance of ensuring the involvement of a broad range of stakeholders—including consumers, purchasers, and providers—in the process.

These and other important issues were discussed further in subsequent sessions of the workshop.

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