This summer, SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is celebrating two decades of dedication to progress in the behavioral health field.
CPI enjoys an ongoing relationship with SAMHSA. Whether it’s checking in on what’s new or partnering as we did at a 2004 symposium sponsored by CPI and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on the risks of restraint use, CPI and SAMHSA hold a shared philosophy and vision. Like CPI, SAMHSA is committed to improving lives by equipping staff with skills to prevent and respond to difficult behavior and by empowering individuals to be active participants in their own care.
Both SAMHSA and CPI are committed to helping organizations reduce and eliminate the use of restraint and seclusion. Both promote safer practices for protecting staff and consumers alike. CPI’s Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training focuses on safe and effective ways for staff to handle and prevent crises, and SAMHSA has recognized a number of facilities—such as the Neurorehabilitation Units at Kindred Hospital Northeast Stoughton in Stoughton, MA—for implementing CPI training and succeeding at reducing restraint and seclusion, thereby increasing Care, Welfare, Safety, and Security℠ for everyone involved in crisis situations.
SAMHSA’s efforts have also boosted awareness of the need for compassionate care that considers the needs of people who have experienced trauma. SAMHSA’s person-centered efforts have led to the creation of the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care, as well as the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. According to SAMHSA, “[t]rauma-informed approaches to care acknowledge the presence of trauma symptoms and the role trauma plays in people’s lives.” Similarly aware of this vital component of providing quality care, we’ve launched Trauma-Informed Care: Implications for CPI’s Crisis Development Model℠, an advanced program for Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® Certified Instructors. This training centers on strategies that incorporate an empathic understanding of trauma’s effect on behavior.
As I reflect on SAMHSA’s commendable contribution to reducing the stigma associated with mental illness, to sparking hope, and to advancing compassionate care, I keep thinking of the positive change in weather we’ve had recently here in Milwaukee. Until last week, we went nearly two months without rain. Crops have suffered throughout the summer, and the grass is so dry that it feels like needles on bare feet. (On the upside, we certainly haven’t had to worry about mowing the lawn at my house!)
To everyone’s relief, we finally got a light drizzle last Friday. Throughout the office we all gathered around windows to watch the precious drops fall. We’ve had a few good showers since, and as I’m writing, I’m thinking of how SAMHSA and CPI both aim to enrich the world with the kind of relief that these rains have brought.
Please join me in congratulating SAMHSA on twenty years of advancing hope and well-being—and wishing SAMHSA much success in furthering its achievements in the decades to come!