Mental Health Departments

Find mental health departments. Mental health departments provide information on behavioral health, depression, mood disorders, bipolar and other disorders, anxiety, mental illness and its symptoms, psychologists, clinics, institutions and hospitals, symptoms, disability, health agencies, help hotlines, and other resources.

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About Mental Health Departments

What is a Mental Health Department?

A Mental Health Department is a government agency whose mission is focused on the prevention and treatment of mental illnesses and substance abuse, as well as the recovery of individuals suffering from mental illness and substance abuse. Mental Health Departments exist at the federal, state, county, and local levels of government. They are a central part of the mental health system, along with community and private mental health service providers. The resources and services of Mental Health Departments are largely targeted at those individuals suffering from mental health or substance abuse disorders who are excluded from the current health service system.

At the federal level, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its role is to provide mental disorder and substance abuse information, and to make services and research accessible to individuals and service providers. SAMHSA gathers and disseminates information on prevention and treatment practices, and compiles behavioral health statistics and data. Regional Administrators interface with regional, state, and local agencies, as well as other federal agencies, to provide technical assistance in the delivery of mental health services.

State Mental Health Departments coordinate the delivery of mental health and substance abuse services, manage and distribute funds, and enforce rules and regulations concerning mental health service providers, treatment facilities, and the handling of related health records. States also support the research and development of treatments and prevention practices by gathering data on outcomes from service providers in the state as well as funding studies performed by academic institutions.

County and local Mental Health Departments are most directly involved in providing mental health and substance abuse services to individuals. Mental Health Departments at the county or local level often provide assessments, screenings, and triage services. Many agencies make referrals to other mental health and substance abuse service providers in the community based on their initial assessment. In some cases, the agency may have in-house resources to provide psychiatric services, counseling, therapy, medication, or recovery services. Most Mental Health Departments provide a 24-hour crisis access point, such as a hotline or walk-in facility that offers immediate evaluation and crisis stabilization.