Forum Helping SAMHSA Identify Gaps in Offerings

The HHS agency asked grantees to vote online by 8 a.m. Nov. 30 for their favorite change in what SAMHSA now offers about mental health and substance abuse.

Staffers of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration apparently have a good idea by now of what the agency's grantees believe is missing from its publications and resources about mental health and substance abuse. SAMHSA in the past few weeks offered an online forum in which it asked grantees to vote for the change they most desire in those offerings, and three ideas are clearly ahead.

The forum is all but closed -- it was open until 8 a.m. EST Nov. 30 -- having been announced on SAMHSA's Twitter site eight days earlier.

Getting the most votes as of early Nov. 29 was this idea: "Clarifying nature & extent of 'evidence' for evidence-based practices, including limits of evidence" -- this one had 75 votes. Second with 74 votes at that point was "Standards for including consumer voice in all research, development, and implementation." Third with 53 votes was "Formal way to assess recovery outcomes in organizations; recommendations and recognition of stages."

"Please understand that SAMHSA does not intend to produce a given publication solely on the basis of the number of votes received," the agency says on the forum page. "However, SAMHSA staff will be reading the forum and hope to use the feedback provided to help inform the decision making process. Please note that this forum is part of a pilot program to investigate new ways of interacting and engaging with SAMHSA's stakeholder community."

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