October 18, 2006
Mental Health Services Plan Approved
“The timetable of this plan is an aggressive one,’’ said DHHS Commissioner Brenda Harvey. “But people are so eager to implement it, there’s a sense of energy around both the plan and the opportunity to make it happen. It’s time to put away the pens and pencils, to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
In June, 2005, DHHS submitted a plan to Court Master Wathen to address the Superior Court’s remand to establish a comprehensive plan for adult mental health services. This plan received conditional approval and since then, five different revisions were made and submitted for final approval on October 2.
“This state and the plaintiffs worked collaboratively with the Courtmaster, families and providers to see this plan through,’’ said Harvey. “The Governor and the Legislature have continued to commit financial resources that have helped bring us to the implementation phase.”
The 101-page plan addresses four significant areas of redesign to improve the continuity of care: community service networks; performance requirements; flexible services and housing; and consumer councils and peer services. Action steps to move the redesign forward are outlined in the plan as well.
“This is a participative, community-wide approach to mental health,’’ said Ron Welch, Director of DHHS Adult Mental Health Services. “It involves consumers, providers, hospitals and advocates. They’ll be active through policy decisions and service delivery – virtually at every level.”