The Mental Health Transformation Working Group, established through Governor's Executive Orders 06-39 and 07-15, guides Missouri's efforts to develop and implement a comprehensive plan to transform its mental health services system through a grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The 24-member group, appointed by the Governor, includes senior leaders from the Governor’s office and state departments of Mental Health, Social Services, Health and Senior Services, Corrections, Public Safety, and Elementary and Secondary Education, along with mental health consumers, family members, and other state representatives.
The chairpersons and principle staff of the TWG are organizationally positioned within the Department of Mental Health to lead the planning process in partnership with the other adult and child-serving agencies.
Mental disorders now are recognized as being among the most serious public health problems faced by our state and nation and often begin very early in life. Several national reports have been issued emphasizing the need to transform the mental health system, including the Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health, the New Freedom Commission (NFC) Mental Health Report, and the Institute of Medicine’s “Crossing the Quality Chasm” Report. In its interim report, the NFC provided the foundation for Transformation, declaring “…the mental health service delivery system is fragmented and in disarray…leading to unnecessary and costly disability, homelessness, school failure and incarceration.”
In October 2006, Missouri became one of nine states to receive a five-year SAMHSA grant to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for mental health. Missouri is one of nine states selected to receive the grant and the only awardee to include psychiatric services, alcohol and drug abuse services, and developmental disabilities services as partners.
The Comprehensive Plan for Mental Health: Creating Communities of Hope, submitted to SAMHSA in March 2008, moves Missouri’s mental health system beyond a crisis oriented, high-end treatment and custody model toward a broader public health approach that places increasing emphasis on prevention, early intervention and disease management. The Transformation effort also broadens the discussion to address statewide mental health issues across state agency systems, age groups, cultures, and geographic regions.The common agenda that emerged to achieve the shared vision and move Missouri toward a public health approach resulted in six strategic themes:
To date, more than 230 state and local citizens have brought their expertise and personal experiences to the table and served as active participates on six content work groups to address the Mental Health Transformation Goals.
Transformation State Agency Partners