The Mental Health America (MHA) believes that people affected by mental and substance use conditions, referred to as stakeholders in this policy statement, should play a central role in shaping the programs and policies that serve them. The participation of stakeholders in all aspects of mental health and substance use planning, advisory and governance boards is essential to the effective planning, delivery and evaluation of such services.
Mental Health America (MHA) develops policy priorities and positions through its Public Policy Committee and Board of Directors, with the goal of benefiting children and adults with mental health and substance use conditions by (1) influencing federal and state legislation, regulations, and agency policies and (2) securing funding of appropriate services and research. Responsibility for achieving federal policy goals is shared by Mental Health America’s National Office and the MHA affiliates.
Litigation has played an important role in the recognition, expansion, and enforcement of rights of people with mental health and substance use conditions. Mental Health America (MHA) and its affiliates across the country have been involved in many such efforts. While MHA and most affiliates lack the means to initiate litigation, Mental Health America recognizes the importance of employing litigation as a vehicle to pursue social justice and urges affiliates to join with advocacy organizations like the U.S.