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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Department of Health and Human Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

Last Updated: 6/22/2012

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)


Brochures, Fact Sheets, Guides and Toolkits

Improving Quality and Access to Integrated Care for Racially Diverse and Limited English Proficiency Communities
Developed by the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions and the Federal Office of Minority Health, this webinar presents information on integration of mental health and substance use services and primary care services in ways that are culturally and linguistically competent, with the ultimate goal of reducing health disparities. The webinar covers standards, recommendations, and specific ways to make care more culturally and linguistically competent in order to boost access to quality physical and mental health care and substance use treatment. Webinar materials and other archived webinars are available at

2014 National Recovery Month Toolkit
September 2014 marks the 25th annual National Recovery Month, an observance sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This year's theme is "Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, Reach Out," which focuses on opening dialogue about mental health and substance use issues and speaking up to share the reality of recovery with others. This toolkit contains four sections to assist communities and organizations in hosting Recovery Month events. These sections include Targeted Outreach, Media Outreach, Resources, and Join the Voices for Recovery.

Toolkit for Community Action
This toolkit was created by the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities to engage individuals, communities, and organizations to work together to implement programs and policies which foster opportunities for individuals to have access to health care and the capabilities to achieve their full health potential. It includes information to help raise awareness about health disparity issues and engage community members in conversations for creating solutions and tools to take action to promote these changes throughout the community.

Rural Behavioral Health Programs and Promising Practices
Based on a 2008 study of barriers to evaluating behavioral health practices in rural areas, this document highlights the importance of gathering and using data to improve programs, proving the effectiveness of services, and finding funding to enable continuation of programs. The document discusses the shift toward evidence-based practices (EBPs) in the behavioral health field and its effect on consumers, providers, researchers, and policymakers, as well as adaptation of EBPs to rural areas. This manual identifies innovative rural programs that may become EBPs and suggests steps and tools that existing organizations may use to improve their effectiveness. Key organizational issues discussed include staff hours, expertise, funding, and understanding of practices in addition to accessibility, availability, and acceptability for the individuals they serve.

Putting Recovery at the Heart of All We Do
This brief guide provides an overview of values and principles of recovery-based services, as well as recovery-based practices and standards. It discusses ways to support individuals in moving toward health and wellness by focusing on their strengths and bringing value, hope, and meaning to their lives rather than focusing solely on pathology, symptoms, and illness.

Getting In, Out and Around: Overcoming Transportation Barriers to Community Integration
The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities recognizes efforts toward social inclusion, or full inclusion of people with mental health and substance use problems, or past lived experience of these problems, in community life. In this guide, the Collaborative highlights a vital aspect of participation in the community: transportation. Important topics associated with public transportation are discussed, including access and awareness. The guide includes tips for consumers and describes innovative transportation programs.

Community Conversations About Mental Health: Planning Guide
Developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Toolkit for Community Conversations about Mental Health helps people initiate community conversations about mental health and develop community-based solutions. The Planning Guide section explores ways people can begin conversations, raise awareness, and promote access to mental health services in their communities. It can be used as a complement to the Information Brief and Discussion Guide components of the toolkit.

Community Conversations About Mental Health: Discussion Guide
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration developed this discussion guide as part of its Toolkit for Community Conversations About Mental Health. The discussion guide, a tool for use in holding community conversation meetings about mental health, includes discussion questions; tips for group facilitators, including help with how to respond to group participants; and a section on community solutions.

Mental Health First Aid Rural Quick Start Guide
The Mental Health First Aid Rural Quick Start Guide describes the Mental Health First Aid course offered through the National Council for Behavioral Health. The course offers basic materials to help people who are not psychologists, psychiatrists, or other kinds of doctors to understand and assist people who are in crisis or showing symptoms of a mental or substance use disorder. The guide outlines how to use the course to bring community members together, with tips on whom to invite to trainings, identifying an instructor, and managing training costs, as well as an explanation of why Mental Health First Aid is important to rural communities.

Community Conversations About Mental Health: Information Brief
This information brief is part of the Community Conversations About Mental Health Toolkit developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to spur community discussions about mental health and mental disorders; find solutions at the community level for mental health needs, with special focus on young adults; and encourage communities to proceed with solutions that work for them to improve the mental health and overall well-being of all of their members. Through this information brief, people have an opportunity to learn about mental disorders from research and about important decisions related to these disorders to be made at the community level. The brief includes information about types of mental health problems, prevention and treatment approaches, recovery, and the impact of attitudes and beliefs. It can be used as a complement to the Discussion Guide component of the toolkit.

Building sustainable consumer run organizations
This manual, created through the University of Washington and the Self Help Empowerment and Evaluation Alliance, explores the recovery model and how to build a consumer-run organization. To help with preparation for building a consumer-run organization, this manual provides guidance on surveying community needs, a basic checklist for getting the organization started, funding resources, details on management, and sustainability and accountability. It also includes sample documents for readers to reference.

Creating and Facilitating Peer Support Groups
This section of the Community Tool Box toolkit gives readers tips on creating and leading peer support groups. It defines peer support groups, provides information on who could benefit from a peer support group, includes real situational examples to reference, and other tools, such as a PowerPoint presentation and a checklist, to help individuals with this process.

Building Communites from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets
This guide outlines strategies for communities to start asset-based development, an approach to community development in which local citizens' associations, community members and leaders, and institutions work together to build and repair their communities using an approach that focuses on identifying community strengths rather than deficiencies as the starting point in addressing community needs. This guide provides success stories of various communities across the United States and provides an introduction to strategies learned from neighborhood leaders.

Nuts and Bolts: A Technical Assistance Guide for Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Self-Help Groups
Individuals leading consumer/survivor-run organizations provide recommendations to others who want to develop their own organizations. This guide offers suggestions on a broad range of topics including developing a project plan, dealing with outside organizations including the media and the community, coalition building, quality assurance, group decisionmaking, and sustaining projects.

Resources, web pages, and internet links for faith communities
List of helpful resources for faith communities and NAMI affiliates which provide resources for persons of faith to help congregations in their understanding of mental illnesses.

Maryland rural families speak: About mental health
This article briefly discusses the findings from a study of families in two Maryland counties. It provides insight into the experiences of rural, low-income families.

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This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.