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Access to Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services

Improve coordination and accessibility of mental health
and substance abuse treatment services.





Objective:
   People in need will have timely and appropriate access to mental health and substance abuse treatment services.

WHAT VERMONT CAN DO

Individuals & Families:

  • Encourage people to seek help for mental health and substance abuse conditions. 

Organizations:
Non-profit, Community-Based, Faith-Based, and Businesses

  • Provide training so peers and family members know the available resources and how to
    access them.
  • Provide materials alerting your constituency to the availability of mental health and substance abuse services.
  • Talk openly about the struggles people face with mental health conditions and substances in your faith communities – as part of lessons and services, or in recognition of awareness days such as Depression Awareness Day.
  • Integrate mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention into health and social services outreach programs for both the general and at-risk populations.
  • Schools, Colleges, and Universities:
  • Train students to support peers in seeking
    help for mental health and substance abuse conditions.
  • Offer affordable, easily-accessible mental health services on campuses.
  • Provide opportunities and encouragement for the formation of student support groups around mental health conditions and substance abuse.

Healthcare:

  • Integrate mental health and substance
    abuse services into primary medical care through co-location and other convenient access to services.
  • Locate mental health and substance abuse services in youth and young adult friendly spaces such as after-school clubs, teen drop-in centers, and sports activities.
  • Provide integrated mental health and substance abuse and primary care services and support at home for seniors.   

Policy and Systems:

  • Continue to build capacity for mental health and substance abuse treatment statewide.
  • Ensure health insurance benefit packages cover access to mental health and substance abuse care on par with access to physical health care.
  • Design Vermont payment reform models that encourage timely provision of services to prevent suicide.
  • Promote timely access to assessment,
    intervention, and effective care for individuals with a heightened risk for suicide.