The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is charged with improving the quality and availability of treatment and rehabilitative services in order to reduce illness, death, disability, and the cost to society resulting from substance abuse and mental illnesses. The Administrator of SAMHSA reports directly to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. SAMHSA's headquarters building is located in Rockville, Maryland.
SAMHSA was established in 1992 by Congress as part of a reorganization of the Federal administration of mental health services; the new law renamed the former Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA). ADAMHA had passed through a series of name changes and organizational arrangements throughout its history:
Congress directed SAMHSA to target effectively substance abuse and mental health services to the people most in need and to translate research in these areas more effectively and rapidly into the general health care system.
Charles Curie was SAMHSA's Director until his resignation in May 2006. In December 2006 Terry Cline was appointed as SAMHSA's Director. Dr. Cline served through August 2008. Rear Admiral Eric Broderick served as the Acting Director upon Dr. Cline's departure, until the arrival of the succeeding Administrator, Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. in November 2009.
It has been suggested that Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment be merged into this section. (Discuss) Proposed since October 2016.
SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on American's communities.
Four SAMHSA offices, called Centers, administer competitive, formula, and block grant programs and data collection activities:
The Centers give grant and contracts to U.S. states, territories, tribes, communities, and local organizations. They support the provision of quality behavioral-health services such as addiction-prevention, treatment, and recovery-support services through competitive Programs of Regional and National Significance grants. Several staff offices support the Centers:
The Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) is a unit of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This U.S. government agency describes its role as:
The Center for Mental Health Services leads federal efforts to promote the prevention and treatment of mental disorders. Congress created CMHS to bring new hope to adults who have serious mental illness and children with emotional disorders.
CMHS is the driving force behind the largest US children's mental health initiative to date, which is focused on creating and sustaining systems of care. This initiative provides grants (now cooperative agreements) to States, political subdivisions of States, territories, Indian Tribes and tribal organizations to improve and expand their Systems Of Care to meet the needs of the focus population—children and adolescents with serious emotional, behavioral, or mental disorders. The Children's Mental Health Initiative is the largest Federal commitment to children’s mental health to date, and through FY 2006, it has provided over $950 million to support SOC development in 126 communities.
In 2010, SAMHSA identified 8 Strategic Initiatives to focus the Agency's work. Below are the 8 areas and goals associated with each category:
Their budget for the Fiscal Year 2010 was about $3.6 billion. It was re-authorized for FY2011. Most recently, the FY 2016 Budget requests $3.7 billion for SAMHSA, an increase of $45 million above FY 2015.
In February 2004, the administration was accused of requiring the name change of an Oregon mental health conference from "Suicide Prevention Among Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Individuals" to "Suicide Prevention in Vulnerable Populations."
In 2002, then-President George W. Bush established the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. The resulting report was intended to provide the foundation for the federal government's Mental Health Services programs. However, many experts and advocates were highly critical of its report, Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America.