New York Times Highlights History of Community Mental Health System

Recently, the New York Times published a piece entitled, "The Solution to America's Mental Health Crisis Already Exists." The article explains the history of behavioral health care in this country highlighting some of its successes and failures.

The article points out one of the major successes, the Community Mental Health Act, signed in 1963 by JFK. This bill ushered in the concept of creating Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) across the United States to offer services to individuals close to their homes. Unfortunately, for numerous reasons, the model was never fully achieved. After an initial increase in federal funding to help build CMHCs, states began spending dollars on other priorities. In an attempt to reinvigorate the CMHC system, Jimmy Carter signed a bill to once again increase federal government funding for this system of care; it was repealed the following year by President Ronald Reagan.

So, how can we now get it right? The article moves on to discuss federally designated Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs), created in 2014, and how they just might be the answer to the underfunded system we currently see across the country. Providing both a better understanding of how CCBHCs work and pairing that with current statistics, the article gives hope to a future where all individuals will have the opportunity to access behavioral health care when they need it and where they live.

Read the full article HERE.