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HHS - 13854 - President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health - Presidential


Committee NamePresident's New Freedom Commission on Mental HealthAgency NameDepartment of Health and Human Services
Fiscal Year2003Committee Number13854
Original Establishment Date4/29/2002Committee StatusTerminated
Actual Termination Date4/29/2003Committee URL
New Committee This FYNoPresidential Appointments*Yes
Terminated This FYYesMax Number of Members*15
Current Charter Date4/29/2002Designated Fed Officer Position Title*Director, Center for Mental Health Services, SAMHSA
Date Of Renewal Charter4/29/2003Designated Federal Officer PrefixMs.
Projected Termination Date4/29/2003Designated Federal Officer First Name*A.
Exempt From Renewal*NoDesignated Federal Officer Middle NameKathryn
Specific Termination AuthorityExecutive Order #13263Designated Federal Officer Last Name*Power
Establishment Authority*PresidentialDesignated Federal Officer SuffixM.Ed.
Specific Establishment Authority*Executive Order #13263Designated Federal Officer Phone*301-443-0001
Effective Date Of Authority*4/29/2002Designated Federal Officer Fax*301-443-1563
Exempt From EO 13875 Discretionary Cmte Designated Federal Officer Email*
Committee Type*Ad hoc
Committee Function*Other Committee


Agency Recommendation*Terminate
Legislation to Terminate Required 
Legislation Status 
How does cmte accomplish its purpose?*The President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health met on October 2-4, 2002 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. The Commission heard the testimony of several experts, as well as public comment from several consumer panels. One of the experts to testify before the Commission, Stephen Bartels, M.D., M.S., Associate Professor of Psychiatry, New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, Dartmouth Medical School, cited several barriers contributing to the problem of unmet mental health needs of older adults, including systemic barriers (fragmented system with little communication among providers), attitudinal barriers, financing barriers, and the reluctance of older adults to seek mental health services due to stigma. Other experts who testified before the Commission included Gary K. Kennedy, M.D., President, American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, Willard Mays, M.S., Immediate Past President, National Coalition for Mental Health and Aging and Past Chair, Older Persons Division of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, Hikmah Gardiner, Older Adult Consumer Mental Health Alliance Representing the Older Adult Consumer Mental Health Alliance and the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Bryce Miller, Older Adult Consumer Mental Health Alliance. Public comment was also presented before the Commission. After these presentations, Commissioners discussed the Interim Report, as required by the President’s Executive Order creating the Commission. The purpose of the Interim Report is to describe the extent of unmet needs and barriers to care within the mental health system. Commissioner Postlethwait reviewed sections of the detailed outline, including the statement of overall findings, description of needs, description of barriers and profiles of promising community-based models. The President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health met November 12-14, 2002 at Le Meridien Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The Commission heard from many experts on the issue of homelessness and individuals with mental illness. Tanya Tull, President/CEO, Beyond Shelter, Inc., Los Angeles, California provided an historical overview of homelessness, including the development of a separate system of programs for homeless people. Carol Wilkins, Director of Intergovernmental Policy, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Oakland, California, called attention to the shortage of available affordable housing for persons with mental illness. Tim Cantwell, Managing Member, U.S. VETS, Los Angeles California shared information about U.S. VETS, the largest private organization in the country dedicated to helping homeless veterans. During the work session, the following Subcommittees provided brief updates on their activities: Children and Families, Criminal Justice, Evidence-based Practices, Consumers, Housing, Older Adults, Interface with General Medicine, Employment, Medicaid, and Rights and Engagement. The President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health met on December 4-6, 2002 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. The meeting opened with a panel of experts discussing the current fragmentation of the community mental health system. Steve Sharfstein, President and CEO, Sheppard Pratt Health System, and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, presented testimony on fragmented funding and fragmented care. Timothy A. Kelly, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training, Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, Pasadena, California also provided his expert perspective on fragmentation. Laurie Flynn, Director, Carmel Hill Center for Early Diagnosis and Treatment, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York testified about a new screening program for teenage depression, “Teen Screen”. In addition, three business leaders from Atlanta addressed the Commission about the problem of stigma and mental illness: Tom Johnson, Larry Gellerstedt, and J.B. Fuqua. Also at the meeting, several subcommittee chairs presented reports on their issue papers. As Chair Hogan explained, these preliminary discussions about issue papers would be followed in the coming months by more detailed deliberations about specific recommendations. The opening report was offered by Commissioner Lerner-Wren, Chair of the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, accompanied by Dr. Henry Steadman, consultant to the Subcommittee. In its discussions, the Subcommittee suggested that three major policy changes were needed: (1) preventing incarceration of people with serious mental illness who have committed minor offenses through diversion programs; (2) provide constitutionally adequate services in correctional facilities for people with serious mental illnesses and (3) link people with serious mental illnesses to community-based services when they are discharged through reentry transition programs. The next report was given by Commissioner Godbole, Chair of the Subcommittee on Evidence-based Practices, accompanied by Dr. Howard Goldman, consultant. The subcommittee offered three primary policy options: (1) create a national partnership for disseminating of evidence based practices, (2) advance new knowledge through research, including rigorously evaluated service demonstration programs, and (3) use existing funding mechanisms to encourage the use of evidence-based practices. Commissioners voted unanimously to accept the report. As Chair of the Subcommittee on Suicide Prevention, Commissioner Prechter gave the report with the Subcommittee consultant, Dr. Eric Caine. After describing the pressing public health crisis of suicide, she highlighted the Subcommittee's policy options. The final report was given by Commissioner Arredondo, Chair of the Subcommittee on Co-occurring Disorders. The Subcommittee report recommended integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders, as well the need for adequate screening. During its public comment period on December 6, the Commission heard from many consumers, advocates and professionals in the field of mental health. The President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health met on January 7-9, 2003 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, in Arlington, Virginia. Robert M. Kolodner, M.D., Acting Deputy Chief Information Officer for Health, Office of Information, Veterans Health Administration, Washington, D.C., gave a brief overview of the development of Veterans Administration's automation efforts. Dale S. Cannon, Associate Chief for Information, Salt Lake City Medical Center [Veterans Administration (VA)], Salt Lake City, Utah, gave further explanation of the mental health software used by the VA. Kenneth W. Kizer, M.D., M.P.H., President and CEO, National Forum for Healthcare Quality Measurement and Reporting, Washington, D.C., urged the Commission to recommend building a comprehensive information technology based on performance measures and clinical prompts that promote quality care. Commissioner Godbole and Commissioner Murphy, co-chairs of the Subcommittee on Older Adults, gave the Subcommittee report. The Co-Chairs said the primary recommendation is the development of a national leadership partnership to improve the mental health service delivery system for older adults. Commissioner Harbin, Chair of the Subcommittee on Mental Health Interface with General Medicine, was joined by consultant, Jurgen Unutzer, M.D., in his presentation of the findings and recommendations of that subcommittee. Commissioner Harbin outlined the four recommended policy options developed by the Subcommittee: (1) adequate financing of collaborative services, (2) development of performance standards, (3) technical assistance and (4) implementation of provider training. After the subcommittees’ presentations, Commissioner Pasternack introduced Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM). Senator Domenici described his ongoing efforts to pass mental health parity legislation. Commissioner Speck, chair of the Subcommittee on Rural Issues, began the next day’s meeting by presenting the findings of the Subcommittee with Dennis Mohatt, Director of the Mental Health Program, Western Interstate Commission in Higher Education (WICHE). Dr. Mohatt addressed the key disparities in mental health care for rural Americans, which include lack of availability, accessibility, and acceptability. Commissioner Fisher, co-chair of the Subcommittee on Rights and Engagement, gave the Subcommittee report. He said the recommendations promoted legal rights with the mental health care system in three arenas: (1) rights when engaged in treatment in the community; (2) rights to remain engaged in treatment in the community and freedom from unnecessary engagement in institutional treatment and (3) rights when engaged in institutional treatment. The Commission engaged in a lengthy discussion and decided to allow the Subcommittee more time to continue their work on the report. Stan Eichenauer, the Commission's Deputy Executive Director, and Garrett Moran, Project Officer, Westat, provided Commissioners with a report analyzing stakeholders’ public comments received via the Commission's web site, email and written correspondence. The President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health met February 4-6, 2003 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia Highway in Arlington, Virginia. Commissioner Randolph Townsend, Chair of the Subcommittee on Housing and Homelessness provided his Subcommittee’s report. Expert consultants, Ann O'Hara and Lynn Aronson, responded to questions posed by Commissioners. The Subcommittee’s report emphasized the need to address the serious housing affordability problems of people with severe mental illnesses and extremely low incomes, and presented policy options to advance the President's goal of ending chronic homelessness among people with serious mental illness. Co-chairs Commissioner Adams and Commissioner Mele-McCarthy presented the report of the Subcommittee on Employment and Income Supports. Judith Cook, Ph.D., consultant to the Subcommittee, provided the Commission an overview of the employment concerns for people with mental illness. The policy recommendations of the Subcommittee focused on the elimination of long-term dependence on income support programs and greater support of supported employment, an evidence-based practice. Commissioner Mayberg and Commissioner Huang, co-chairs of the Subcommittee on Children and Families, presented their subcommittee’s recommendations. Expert consultant Beth Stroul also elaborated on the recommendations and responded to questions. Commissioner Huang indicated that the subcommittee received data from multiple sources, including 250 organizations and individuals concerned about children. Given this broad input, the subcommittee expanded the scope of its discussions beyond children with serious mental disorders to include prevention and early intervention efforts. Commissioner Mayberg, chair of the Subcommittee on Medicaid, presented the findings and recommendations of that subcommittee, with the support of expert consultants, Steve Day and Pam Hyde. Policy recommendations presented by Commissioner Mayberg addressed and corrected barriers due to fragmentation occurring in the Medicaid and Medicare funding programs. The Subcommittee on Consumer Issues, chaired by Commissioner Fisher, presented an overview of the subcommittee’s work, primarily focused on the principles of recovery for consumers. Members of the public were given the opportunity to address the full Commission at the end of the day’s meeting. The next day of the meeting, Commissioner Knight-Richardson, presented the report of the Subcommittee on Cultural Competence which focused on policy recommendations designed to eliminate disparities in mental health care. Commissioner Harbin presented recommendations of the Subcommittee on Evidence-based Practices. Four policy recommendations were offered by the subcommittee: (1) employ cost saving strategies that preserve patient choice, and research and development incentives, (2) include prescription drug coverage to facilitate cost-effective evidence-based treatment, (3) restructure managed care contracts for greater coordination and accountability and (4) address knowledge gaps in medication policy. The President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health met on March 4-6, 2003 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. Commissioner Knight-Richardson, chair of the Acute Care Subcommittee, gave the subcommittee's recommendations. He said that because of regional variation in the problem, and limited availability of critical data, the Subcommittee recommended that a National Working Group on Acute and Crisis Care be formed. Chair of the Subcommittee on Consumer Issues, Commissioner Fisher, provided the findings and recommendations of that subcommittee. Commissioner Fisher outlined the two major recommendations: promotion of collective self-determination and individual self-determination for mental health treatment. The subcommittee on Rights and Engagement presented its revised report to the Commission, which was accepted by the Commission with no further changes. The President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health held its final meeting on April 3, 2003 at the Westin Embassy Row in Washington, D.C. The Commission held a detailed discussion on the major recommendations for the final report. It agreed on the following six goals: Goal 1 - Mental Health is Essential to Health; Goal 2 - Early Mental Health Screening and Treatment in Multiple Settings; Goal 3 - Consumer/Family Centered Care; Goal 4 - Best Care Science Can Offer; Goal 5 - Information Infrastructure; and Goal 6 - Eliminate Disparities in Mental Health Care. The Commission voted unanimously to accept the outline containing the vision, goals, and recommendations, along with the pursuant discussion, and to proceed with drafting the final report. Public comment was submitted via verbal and written testimony to the Commission.
How is membership balanced?*The Commission membership shall be composed of not more than fifteen members appointed by the President, including providers, payers, administrators, consumers of mental health services and family members of consumers and not more than seven ex officio members, four of whom shall be designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the remaining three of whom shall be designated - one each - by the Secretaries of the Departments of Labor, Education, and Veterans Affairs.
How frequent & relevant are cmte mtgs?*The Commission met 7 times during this fiscal year. Because of the Commissions mandated term expired on 4/29/03, no meetings will be held in the future.
Why advice can't be obtained elsewhere?*To complete the mandate of the President's Executive Order 13263, which is to make recommendations for the improvement of America's mental health delivery system for individuals with serious mental illness and children with serious emotional disorders. In particular, the Commission will focus on ways to achieve the desired outcomes of mental health care, which are to attain each individual's maximum level of employment, self-care, interpersonal relationships and community participation. The direction, scope, balance and emphasis of the advice received from this group of experts cannot be obtained from other established sources because the President mandated the function and mission of the Commission and appointed its members.
Why close or partially close meetings?N/A
Recommendation Remarks


Outcome Improvement To Health Or Safety*YesAction Reorganize Priorities*Yes
Outcome Trust In GovernmentNoAction Reallocate ResourcesYes
Outcome Major Policy ChangesYesAction Issued New RegulationsNo
Outcome Advance In Scientific ResearchNoAction Proposed LegislationNo
Outcome Effective Grant MakingNoAction Approved Grants Or Other PaymentsNo
Outcome Improved Service DeliveryYesAction OtherNo
Outcome Increased Customer SatisfactionNoAction CommentNA
Outcome Implement Laws/Reg RequirementsNoGrants Review*No
Outcome OtherNoNumber Of Grants Reviewed0
Outcome CommentNANumber Of Grants Recommended0
Cost Savings*Unable to DetermineDollar Value Of Grants Recommended$0.00
Cost Savings CommentNAGrants Review CommentNA
Number Of Recommendations*19Access Contact Designated Fed. Officer*No
Number Of Recommendations CommentNAAccess Agency WebsiteNo
% of Recs Fully Implemented*75.00%Access Committee WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented CommentNAAccess GSA FACA WebsiteYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented*20.00%Access PublicationsYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented CommentNAAccess OtherNo
Agency Feedback*YesAccess CommentNA
Agency Feedback Comment*E-mail interaction regarding subcommittee reports(?)Participating with various former Commissioners in public presentations and other events.Reunion of Commission to provide report action agenda and introduction of new playersNarrative Description*The President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health concluded its work this past July with the delivery of its Final Report to the President, “Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America.” The work and product of the Commission is highly consistent with SAMHSA’s mission, values and goals of achieving “a life in the community for everyone” including improving services to people with mental illness. The recommendations contained in the Final Report fit nicely with Administrator Curie’s priority of achieving mental health system transformation, now visibly included on the SAMHSA matrix of priority programs and principles. Secretary Tommy Thompson has tasked Administrator Curie with developing the action agenda that will serve to follow-up on specific Commission recommendations.
Hide Section - COSTS


Payments to Non-Federal Members*$41,846.00Est Payments to Non-Fed Members Next FY*$0.00
Payments to Federal Members*$0.00Est. Payments to Fed Members Next FY*$0.00
Payments to Federal Staff*$236,455.00Estimated Payments to Federal Staff*$0.00
Payments to Consultants*$206,696.00Est. Payments to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Non-Federal Members*$107,953.00Est Travel Reimb Non-Fed Members nextFY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Members*$0.00Est Travel Reimb For Fed Members*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Staff*$4,065.00Est. Travel Reimb to Fed Staff Next FY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Consultants*$3,008.00Est Travel Reimb to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Other Costs$403,600.00Est. Other Costs Next FY*$0.00
Total Costs$1,003,623.00Est. Total Next FY*$0.00
Date Cost Last Modified Est. Fed Staff Support Next FY*0.00
Federal Staff Support (FTE)*3.00Est Cost Remarks
Cost Remarks  
Hide Section - Interest Areas

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Data from Previous Years

ActionCommittee System IDCommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-016423President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health2002