VII. Bringing it all Together: Characteristics of Excellent Public Behavioral Health Systems

This report contains detailed descriptions of best practices for public behavioral health systems. These best practices include child and family behavioral health, adult behavioral health, special services such as housing and employment, and best practice approaches for administration of the system. Examples of all these best practice approaches have been provided, but they do not present the whole story of best practices. In fact, many of the examples represent isolated best practice approaches, rather that characterizing a total system of care. Thus, an important question remains to be addressed: Are there places where the over-all public behavioral health system exemplifies best practices, and if so, what are the common characteristics of these jurisdictions?

There are a number of states that have over the past twenty years deliberatively made the conversion from traditional service models to best practice community support rehabilitation and recovery-oriented models of public behavioral health services. These states include Vermont, New Hampshire, Ohio, Colorado, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. These states share a number of common characteristics, many of which have been highlighted as best practices throughout this report. The following Table contains a summary description of these characteristics, and provides some indicators than can signal that the characteristics are being attained.


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