Rockville, Md. – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded an Abt Associates-led team a contract to help combat inequities in behavioral health.
Abt and partner Change Matrix LLC will support SAMHSA’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity (OBHE) in five domains: 1) policy, 2) data, 3) workforce development and practice improvement, 4) communications, and 5) technical assistance, partnerships and customer service. Project activities will include policy and program support, knowledge development and application, and resource and product development. In addition, the project will engage in network building nationally and at the community level, compilation of best practices and quality improvement strategies, and capacity building for community-based organizations serving underserved populations.
The goal of the project is to improve behavioral health in communities that have been historically underserved and potentially benefit all populations. The team will use multiple strategies to foster ongoing partnerships, collaboration, and innovation with under-resourced communities that bear a disproportionate share of the nation’s behavioral health challenges.
Under the 4-year, $11.5M contract, the Abt Team will:
- Design and implement consultation with varied audiences with expertise and lived experience through behavioral health equity steering committees, technical expert panels, and listening sessions
- Assess community needs
- Analyze behavioral health disparity research and data to develop responsive community engagement strategies and interventions
- Expand upon the National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health (NNED), which Change Matrix leads. The NNED is a network of stakeholders addressing mental health and substance use issues in culturally, racially, and ethnically diverse communities across the country. The network engages capacity building activities and provides resources such as equity dialogues, learning collaboratives, and behavioral health equity toolkits
- Advise and support both OBHE and NNED web site design and function to enhance their reach and impact.
“Abt’s longstanding focus on equity has prepared us for this work,” said Dr. Danielle Hunt, vice president, public health. “We look forward to working with SAMHSA to tackle this critical issue.”
About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is a global consulting and research firm that combines data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people's lives. We partner with clients and communities to advance equity and innovation—from creating scalable digital solutions and combatting infectious disease, to mitigating climate change and evaluating programs for measurable social impact. https://www.abtassociates.com