OMHSAS Information > Supporting the Journey - System Transformation

The 2003 report from the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America, challenges states to ”fundamentally transform” how mental health care is delivered and to work toward a recovery-oriented system.  Pennsylvania’s Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) embraced the challenge and is guided by the OMHSAS Advisory Committee as well as a broad range of stakeholders who create accountability for the system transformation.

Supporting the Journey: Transforming Pennsylvania’s Behavioral Health System describes changes to the Commonwealth’s behavioral health system to become more responsive to the needs of consumers, families, and communities.  We invite our partners to use this resource to educate others about the behavioral health system, to learn more about the transformation, and to continue to make your voices heard as the behavioral health system continues its journey.

Supporting the Journey starts with a Timeline beginning with the 1966 MH/MR Act through the closure of Allentown State Hospital in 2010.  Additional topics include 

  1. HealthChoices Behavioral Health Program – Goals and accomplishments of HealthChoices from 1997 to 2010.
  2. Children, Youth and Families – Services directed to children and their families within the context of a system of care.
  3. Adults – Recovery-Oriented Services – Services for adults that are recovery focused such as ACT, psychiatric rehabilitation, employment and housing.
  4. Adults – Targeted Services and Approaches – Services focused on the unique needs the deaf and hard of hearing, sexual minorities, persons with co-occurring disorders or persons involved in the criminal justice system.
  5. Older Adult Services – Services directed toward older adult consumers.
  6. Substance Use Disorder Services – Medicaid drug and alcohol services in OMHSAS as well as collaboration efforts with partner agencies and programs.
  7. State Hospital Services – Changes in the State Hospital system, including patient census, community transition services, and financing the transformation.
  8. Quality Management –OMHSAS efforts to monitor services to ensure quality, access, and consumer satisfaction.