July 17, 2003
NAMI TESTIFIES AT SENATE HEARING ON SAMHSA REAUTHORIZATION
On July 15, NAMI Board Member Gloria Walker of Ohio testified before the new Senate Subcommittee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services on legislation to reauthorize the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In her testimony Ms. Walker urged the Senate to ensure that SAMHSA more effectively target its resources to responding to the growing crisis facing the public mental health system at the state and local level.
Specifically, NAMI recommended that Congress direct the agency to:
- provide leadership in bridging the divide between science and practice to ensure wider replication of evidence-based practice,
- improve the data infrastructure capacity of the public mental health system,
- make treatment for co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorders a priority,
- play a stronger role in helping to meet President Bush's goal of ending chronic homelessness over the next
- address the growing and disturbing trend of "criminalization" of mental illness experienced by adults in jails and prisons and adolescents in juvenile justice programs, and
- continue its efforts to address the absence of a coherent service system for children and adolescents with
serious mental illness.
The testimony of other witnesses and statements presented at the July 15 hearing
Gloria Walker & Senator DeWine