On May 31, the White House officially announced the long awaited appointments to the New Freedom Initiative Commission on Mental health Services. The commission is intended to examine the current gaps in mental illness treatment services and make recommendations for ways in which the federal government can help states increase access to care and improve quality in their public programs. Commission chairman Michael Hogan, Ph.D., Ohio's Commissioner of Mental Health, recently addressed attendees at NAMI's 23rd annual convention in Cincinatti.
Among the notable appointments to the White House Commission is NAMI Indiana member Robert Postelhwait. In addition, several other appointments have considerable experience in working with NAMI over the years, including Judge Ginger Lerner Wren (presiding judge of the Broward County Florida Mental health Court), and Henry Harbin (CEO of Magellan Behavioral Health). The Chairman of the Commission, Ohio Mental Health Commissioner Mike Hogan, Ph.D., is a longtime ally of NAMI Ohio and was a featured speaker at NAMI's recent annual convention. In addition, five senior officials from federal agencies such as Health and Human Services, Labor, Education and the Veterans' Administration are also expected to serve on the Commission.