A committee created by the 21st Century Cures Act to better coordinate federal efforts to address serious mental illness and emotional disturbance today released its recommendations to Congress and federal agencies. The report calls for developing an interdepartmental strategic plan to improve services and outcomes for people with serious mental illness and emotional disturbance; a national standard for crisis care; and a continuum of care that includes adequate psychiatric bed capacity and community-based alternatives to hospitalization. It also recommends using telehealth and other technologies to increase access to care; increasing the capacity of the behavioral health workforce; making housing more readily available; diverting people with serious mental illness and emotional disturbance from the justice system; and developing finance strategies to increase care availability and affordability, among other actions.

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