The Supreme Court Decision, Olmstead vs. L.C., provided a landmark interpretation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in determining that persons with disabilities are entitled to receive services and live in the most integrated settings appropriate for their care. During the 15 years since the Olmstead decision, state governments, in particular state mental health systems, have worked to modify their service systems to comply with the ADA by making it possible for individuals to live in their own communities while providing the appropriate mental health services and supports. State mental health authorities have also employed strategies to prevent lengthy and inappropriate use of restrictive settings.
In FY12, SAMHSA provided initial funding to develop and pilot a self-assessment tool on community integration designed for use by state behavioral health authorities. The original tool was intended to provide states an opportunity to proactively identify their strengths and weaknesses around community integration for persons with mental illnesses; however, the tool was not intended to replace a comprehensive outcomes or performance management system. Based on the success of the FY12 pilot, SAMHSA extended funding for this initiative for two more fiscal years (FY13 and FY14) to refine the instrument and address additional community integration concerns and work with additional states. The goal of the FY14 study is to disseminate the tool to as many states as possible through a Community of Practice. NRI has worked closely with Advocates for Human Potential and JBS International to develop and pilot this tool.
If you are interested in learning more about this initiative, please contact NRI@nri-inc.org.