A Unified Vision
A Unified Vision for Transforming Mental Health and Substance Use Care
To improve the lives of people with mental health and substance use disorders through a transformed system of care.
Now more than ever there is a need for collective action to advance mental health and substance use disorder care in the United States.
Leaders from the undersigned organizations have worked closely in partnership to collaborate on the development of a shared vision to achieve a common goal – improving lives. This landmark effort culminated on World Mental Health Day 2020 and demonstrates a strong commitment from leaders in the sector to work together to chart a new course for mental health in our country.
As leading organizations in the United States dedicated to improving outcomes for people with mental health and substance use disorders, we aspire to create the vital conditions that promote well-being and a system of care where all people have readily available access to evidence-informed services across a full continuum.
To improve outcomes and work toward the ideal state where all people thrive, we must fundamentally shift perceptions around mental health, substance use, and well-being; embrace the concept of population health, which includes prevention, promotion, and recovery; address vital conditions such as housing, transportation, and employment; transform the systems that impact whole-person health; integrate care; and dedicate adequate resources to ensure people receive the services and support they need, when and where they need them.
We must institute policies, programs, and standards that value the critical importance of mental health. We must intentionally address racism and discrimination that have created inequities in care and unacceptable disparities in outcomes. We must invest in comprehensive system solutions that integrate and work to make health and well-being realities for all.
Though we represent a wide range of constituencies, the primary goal for each of our organizations is to improve lives. Serving as the stewards to advance the conditions that allow everyone to live a meaningful, healthy, and productive life, it is the responsibility of our organizations to establish common goals, and incumbent upon us to work together to bring about the changes necessary to reach those goals.
Possible Pathways for Success
Solutions to achieve the vision will require policy change at a federal, state, and local level. The document is meant to give guidance to policymakers on the intended goals, as well as possible pathways for success. Each named organization supports this vision and the critical elements, though they may differ on specific pathways to advance shared goals.