TA Coalition Webinar: Mental Health Block Grant 101: A Historical Overview of the Origin, Purpose and Impact of the MHBG - Part I


  • New to State Mental Health?


  • Work on your state’s Mental Health Block Grant Application?


  • Need a “refresher” on the history of our Mental Health System?


  • Want to know how the 2016 Cures Act has impacted the Block Grant?


A Historical Overview of the Origin, Purpose, and Impact of the Mental Health Block Grant (MHBG): A Two-Part Series

Recently, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) has seen a rapid turnover of State Mental Health Authority (SMHA) staff who work on the MHBG, in particular state planners. This turnover has resulted in much of the institutional knowledge about the MHBG, and its role in helping states create robust mental health systems, disappearing from many state systems. This two-part webinar series will focus on the history and context of the MHBG to bring together the threads of psychiatric treatment over time, the development of the federal structure for mental health services, and the legislative and legal milestones in public mental health services. It will showcase how the 1982 block grant requirements were embedded in the prior history and context and continue to impact how our system operates today.


While the presentations will be open to anyone, they will be targeted primarily to State personnel, especially new state planners. It is expected that a greater understanding of the block grant requirements will be achieved by knowing the broad-stroke history of mental illness treatment, the creation and history of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)/Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), the origin of the MHBG, and the respective roles of SAMHSA, the State Project Officers, the State Planner (including a few tips to help organize the process), and the Planning Council. Part Two will also highlight the recent statutory changes stemming from the 2016 Cures Act.


August 7, 2017 – PART ONE

Part One will focus on the following areas BEFORE the 1982 Mental Health Block Grant:

–      History of Psychiatric Treatment in the US

–      Research, Legislative, and Legal Milestones

–      Overview of the Mental Health Block Grant and its requirements

–      Roles and Responsibilities of SAMHSA, State Project Officers, Block Grant Monitors, State Planner, and the State Planning Council