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Central Susquehanna Valley
Local Interagency Coordinating Council




  • In 2002 the President of the United States formed a commission to study mental health services and make recommendations for improvement.

  • On 22 July 2003 the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health Services in The United States issued their full Report to the President.


  • One of the findings of the report was that researched practices proven to work took approximately 10 to 15 years to filter from the researchers down to the actual service delivery level. These practices are termed Evidence Based Practices.


  • In an attempt to improve the implementation of evidence based practices the Federal Government made dollars available to States who applied to address the delay in effective treatments being implemented.


  • Pennsylvania was one of the States which received a Federal New Freedom Initiative Grant. Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare via the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services issued Requests For Proposals to Counties making training available to counties who developed a solution oriented approach to improving the offering of evidence based practices to people receiving mental health services.


  • CMSU’s Administrator applied for a grant and CMSU was one of the six MH programs within the State of Pennsylvania to receive a State Awarded New Freedom Grant.


  • Upon notification of receiving the grant, a local committee was formed made up of consumers of mental health services, family members of consumders of mental health services, and staff of the county and provider system offering mental health services to consumers. This committee developed a brochure.


  • It is the task of the committee to guide the local mental health system toward a recovery-oriented mental health enviornment. Recovery is one of the evidence-based practices which has shown great promise and benefit to individuals who receive mental health services.


  • In addition, recovery is a concept which encompasses both a philosophy of providing services and receiving services and also specific actions which occur in delivering and receiving services.


  • Some of the aspects/components of recovery are:
    --What we all strive to have, the ability to manage our life goals
    --Recognition of individual value
    --Collaboration between individuals who receive MH services and those who provide them
    --Offering evidence based practices
    --Mental Health Advance Directives
    --WRAP (wellness recovery action plans)
    --Individuals who receive mental health services operating services
    --Instilling into services Hope, Healing, Empowerment
    --Both providers and receivers of services focusing on strengths and abilities
    --Decreasing the stigma surrounding mental illness
    --Meaningful activity/employment

  • This is not a complete list, and as you can see a simple concept is complicated.


  • The three-year grant is essentially to provide education to idividuals receiving mental health services, family members of those individuals receiving mental health services, staff and providers offering mental health services and community members so they can together transform the local Columbia, Montour, Snyder and Union County mental health service delivery system to support recovery.






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