Principled Leadership in Public Mental Health


Clearly leaders in public mental health must assume many roles, deal with many constituents and answer to a variety of funding sources. The role of public mental health agencies is also complex. They have responsibilities to provide treatment, rehabilitation, housing, case management and many other practical supports but the agencies at the same time provides services and settings designed for safety and risk management. At times their objectives and their constituent groups are at odds with one another. The challenge to public mental health leaders is to provide the vision that will transform the system from one that emphasized safety, control and symptom reduction to one that is recovery oriented, responsive to consumers’ needs and tied to the community.

The topic is timely in light of the Presidents New Freedom Commission, the report of the Surgeon General on Mental Health, greater awareness of successful treatments and rehabilitative methodologies and the growing consumer movement. Are the Commissioners or Directors of Mental Health and other key managers in the mental health system simply jugglers of competing stakeholders, legislators, consumer groups, insurance companies, provider groups and others? Or are they in the forefront, leading all these groups to a new level of functioning and a new level of aspiration? How can public mental health leaders be visionaries, good employers, remain politically astute and successfully manage hundreds of millions of dollars in services? How can they respond to different and disparate interests? Who informs the management of mental health agencies? The webcast will focus on the principles that need to guide public mental health leaders to move services into the twenty first century.

Recorded: November 22, 2005
 William Anthony, Ph.D

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