APA and National Council for Behavioral Health Applaud the ISMICC’s First Report

Washington, DC — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and National Council for Behavioral Health commend the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for its report, released yesterday by the federal Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC). The report acknowledged that the health care system has failed to meet the needs of adults with serious mental illnesses and children with serious emotional disturbances, and outlined areas to help address this failure.

Based on initial deliberations, the ISMICC’s areas of focus include making it easier to access care, closing the gap between treatment that works and what is offered, and developing financing strategies that increase availability and affordability of care.

The APA and National Council call on the Department of Justice, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Education, the Department of Labor, and CMS to move swiftly to identify specific, concrete actions each agency can take to move forward these recommendations.

We will continue to contribute to and closely follow the ISMICC as we work together to improve the lives of all people with mental illnesses and addictions. They deserve nothing less.


American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.

National Council for Behavioral Health

The National Council for Behavioral Health is the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services. Together with our 2,900 member organizations serving over 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions, the National Council is committed to all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. The National Council helped introduce Mental Health First Aid USA and more than 1 million Americans have been trained.

Media Contacts

Glenn O'Neal, 202-459-9732

Erin Connors, 202-609-7113