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Government watchdog (GAO) finds SAMHSA fails
Waste in SAMHSA Block Grant Applications

SAMHSA is focused exclusively on the highest functioning, and rejects programs that can help the most seriously ill. As a result, we now have two mental health systems: the traditional one that serves the high functioning, and a corrections/shelter system to serve all others. This page documents the problems. Start in left side column and work your way across.

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Some Examples of SAMHSA Mismanagment
  • Mindfreedom: “There is not conclusive evidence or consensus that mental illness exists”
  • The Icarus Project: “We believe these experiences (commonly diagnosed and labeled as psychiatric conditions) are mad gifts needing cultivation and care, rather than diseases or disorders.” 
  • National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery: “NCMHR holds that psychiatric labeling is a pseudoscientific practice of limited value in helping people recover.”

SAMHSA's Response:

Solutions to problems at SAMHSA:


Problems with SAMHSA

Wall St. Journal: Problems at SAMHSA

Overview of how SAMHSA Fails (PDF)
SAMHSA has Unqualified Leaders

SAMHSA minimizes violence by persons with untreated serious mental illness
SAMHSA created own definition of 'recovery' to prove everyone recovers.
Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) program runs amok.
Supports Antipsychiatry
Diverts Mental Health Block Grants
SAMHSA spends $200K on party (Tom Coburn)

SAMHSA Overstates Role of Stigma

SAMHSA certifies programs as 'evidence based' that are not

SAMHSA refueses to certify 'evidence based' that help the most seriously ill


Media articles (and videos) on problems at SAMHSA

Testimony on Problems at SAMHSA

Myths spread by SAMHSA supported antipsychiatry organizations

Myths about AOT
Psychiatry vs. antipsychiatry
Myths about consumers
Myths about medicines
Myths about stigma

Coercion is Patient Centered
Opposition to AOT: NYAPRS
Opposition to AOT: We the people
Mental Illness Awareness Week
Big pharma buys psychiatrists

P&A (PAMII/PAIMI) lawyers
National Law Journal
Misinformed advocates
Not everyone recovers
Review: Mad in America
Mindfreedom, Scientology, CCHR

SAMHSA Refuses to Prioritize Mental "illness" instead of mental "health"

































Issues SAMHSA is not addressing

Commitment standards by state
AOT Usage by state
Involuntary commitment petitions by state
Psychiatric hospital bed shortage by state
State by state use of jails vs. hospitals
States lacking "need for treatment standard"

Severe mental illness: Management and Impact on Homeland Security
Homicide rate tied to commitment laws
Medicaid IMD Discrimination (Detailed)
HIPAA Handcuffs Parents (PDF)
Olmstead requires states use AOT
SAMHSA funded P&A Lawyers

Media in support of HR3717 "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act which would fix many of the problms at SAMHSA identified on this page

Timeless Editorials and Opeds
Uncivil Liberties (Must Read)
Rational Commitment Laws (DJ Jaffe/Rael Isaac)
Involuntary Treatment Saves Lives (Jaffe)
Huffington Post on Mental Illness
Mental Illness and Violence(DJ Jaffe/Sally Satel)
Huffington Post Blogs(DJ Jaffe)
Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity (DJ Jaffe)
Medicaid Prevents Mental Health Care (Jaffe/Zdanowicz)
Russel Weston & Civil Liberties (Beth Barber)
Unfit to stand trial (Torrey/Zdanowicz)
Beds Deter Dangerousness (Lieberman)
Not everyone recovers (Mary Zdanowicz)
From Asylum to cell (Sally Satel)




The information on Mental Illness Policy Org. is not legal advice or medical advice. Do not rely on it. Discuss with your lawyer or medical doctor. Mental Illness Policy Org was founded in February 2011 and recently received 501(c)(3) status. In order to maintain independence does not accept any donations from companies in the health care industry or government. That makes us dependent on the generosity of people who care about these issues. If you can support our work, please send a donation to Mental Illness Policy Org., 50 East 129 St., Suite PH7, New York, NY 10035. Thank you. Contact office@mentalillnesspolicy.org.