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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

SAMHSA Administrator Will Step Down

Substance abuse and mental health problems affect millions of teenagers and adults every year. Fortunately, there are number of services, treatment centers, and agencies committed to helping those afflicted manage and recover from diseases of the mind. One such agency is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, whose goal is to reduce the effects of mental health and substance abuse, such as: illness, death, disability, and cost to society.

SAMHSA responsibilities include:
  • Prevention
  • Treatment
  • Rehabilitative Services
This week, SAMHSA's Administrator, Pam Hyde, announced that she would be stepping down from her post after six years of service, according to the National Council for Behavioral Health. Hyde’s position will be filled by SAMHSA Principal Deputy Administrator Kana Enomoto.

“Pam’s commitment to her work at SAMHSA is remarkable,” said Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell. “She has spent her career as a mental health policy expert and advocate and delivered impact for the American people. I am thankful to have served alongside her at the Department.” 

It is probably fair to say that Hyde’s tenure was in the midst of the administration’s most trying time in its 23 year history. Hyde led the way for President Obama’s Now is the Time initiative, a nationwide effort to increase access to mental health services, according to the article. When she came on board in 2009, the prescription opioid crisis was at its zenith. As Administrator she played a pivotal role in expanding access to medication assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction, and worked to make the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone more available.

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