SAMHSA Offers New Series of Informational Kits to Promote Evidenced-based Mental Health Practices

JANUARY 23, 2009
Chris Cole
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced last week the offering of a new Assertive Community Treatment Knowledge Informing Transformation (ACT KIT) packet, which is the first in a series of Evidence-Based Practice Knowledge Informing Transformation (EBP KIT) packets to be released by SAMHSA in order to help mental health providers offer an assortment of “proven mental health services in a wide variety of community settings.”

States, communities, and organizations alike can use the EBP KITs to find the best suited evidence-based practices for their populations’ unique mental healthcare needs, using the provided information and guidance on available tools and resources. The ACT KIT, specifically, aims to help people with serious mental illness “stay out of the hospital and live successfully in the community”—through information and guidance on how to provide comprehensive mental health treatment and support services—and help mental healthcare providers to develop individualized community-based services for their patients.

According to SAMHSA, each EBP KIT, including the ACT KIT, will include:

• Materials to introduce the practice to a wide variety of stakeholders, including Spanish and English videos, brochures, and a PowerPoint presentation
• Information for state mental health authorities and program administrators to help them set up systems to support the practice
• A manual and accompanying video to train front-line staff
• Evaluation/quality assurance materials to ensure the practice works as planned, and
• A summary of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of the practice

Access a downloadable version of the free KIT at http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/cmhs/CommunitySupport/toolkits/community, or call 1-877-726-4727 to order the free CD-ROM/DVD version.

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