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GAO Calls For Greater Interagency Collaboration on Mental Health Services, Including Employment Programs

February 27, 2015

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) presented testimony to Congress on the need for increased coordination of Federal efforts related to serious mental illness. The testimony, based on a report released in December 2014, reported that eight Federal agencies are responsible for evaluating and administering at least 112 different programs that can support people with psychiatric disabilities.5 These services and supports are multi-dimensional, meaning they are intended to not only help individuals manage their mental illness, but also to maximize their potential to live independently in the community by addressing employment, housing and other issues. Of the 112 programs identified, eight reside within the U.S. Department of Labor’s programmatic jurisdiction, and an additional seven programs related specifically to employment are housed within the domains of Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration or the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration.