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Mental Health Leadership Congress convenes

By Jen Costello, Jordan Institute for Families

On June 8, the Leadership in Transition team in the Jordan Institute for Families, directed by Gary Nelson, convened a state-wide leadership congress with a large variety of stakeholders and leaders of the state’s mental health, developmental disability and substance abuse system. Over 100 participants from across the system representing state health and human service agencies, local government, the General Assembly, provider groups, faith organizations, universities, and consumers – gathered to shape the plans for making ours the best public system in the country.

The participants brought their wide-ranging perspectives to the work of identifying the most critical steps forward for the system. Recommendations were shaped and voted on by the group that day.

The recommendations that emerged and were voted on that day include:

  • Utilize data to become less reactive. Identify a few meaningful citizen outcomes to measure performance and make the data accessible to all through multiple venues.
  • Keep all citizens informed through public engagement, education and training so all citizens can become stakeholders of the system.
  • Connect across systems to develop a one stop shop to access services.
  • Employ regulations and incentives for good and poor performers.
  • Gather around a shared vision and outcomes.
  • Ensure an appropriate level of funding.

In the coming weeks, the Jordan Institute for Families will be finalizing the recommendations and delivering them in a report summarizing the activities in 2011-12 that led up to the Leadership Congress. All June 8th participants, members of the General Assembly, and the key state leaders will receive that report.

If you have questions or comments on the initiative, contact