By Captain Jeffrey Coady, Psy.D., Regional Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service
Alignment, communication, collaboration, and coordination are more than just buzzwords—they are essential components for behavioral health stakeholders. In order to effectively mitigate the impact of the mental illness and substance use disorders, we must develop multi-sectoral collaborations. Whether we are a clinical provider, public health administrator, or public safety professional, it is incumbent upon us to not only know our role, but also be knowledgeable of the roles of other people/systems that link to our work, either on the front end or the back end. Operationalizing these essential components is difficult, but necessary work, to address both the immediate and long-term impact of behavioral health conditions.