March 2, 2006
Statement of Robert W. Glover, Ph.D., Executive Director, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) on the release of NAMI's "report card" on state mental health service delivery systems
Advocates, especially consumers and family members, have a distinct role to play in improving the mental health system, so we value NAMI’s important perspective on both the need for improved services and the many innovations and exemplary practices they have identified around the country.
States are committed to mending the gulf between what we know and what the systems can deliver and ultimately transforming their systems to truly meet the needs of the people they serve. Therefore, we support the broad policy recommendations NAMI proposes. It is important to emphasize that this transformation will take leadership on all levels of government, increased resources, and interagency collaboration.
NAMI has reminded the public that mental health should be everybody’s business, and this report can be helpful in continuing to implement the recommendations of the President’s New Freedom Commission Report on Mental Health and the transformation of mental health service delivery currently underway across the country. It will be a misuse of the report, however, if it leads only to blame and finger pointing. Instead, it is a time for leadership and increased political will on the federal, state, and local levels of government.
The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) represents the nation’s public mental health service delivery system serving 6.1 million people annually in all 50 states, 4 territories, and the District of Columbia.