Americans have a stake, individually and collectively, in making effective prevention, screening and treatment of mental health and substance use conditions more of a priority. Communities across the country have taken steps to advance that goal, working to improve individual and family well-being and mental health, and reducing substance use in schools and health systems. Too often, however, communities have embraced that goal only partially, after experiencing a wrenching tragedy such as a youth’s suicide. Too often, the system failures and inadequacies that leave people without access to needed care are not perceived as critical public health issues. And too often, well-intentioned efforts fail to employ effective, state-of-the-art services and fail to provide culturally and linguistically competent services.


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