Each of the two major populations served by the Department of Mental Health (DMH)—adults with severe mental illness, and children and youth experiencing a serious emotional disturbance and their families—has a State Program Standing Committee (SPSC). The SPSCs advise DMH on an array of issues important to each population. Both of the Standing Committees have responsibilities that are described in the Administrative Rules on Agency Designation, §3 (revised June 1, 2003), in regard to:
- Hiring of key management,
- Evaluation of the quality and responsiveness of services statewide,
- Development of the State System of Care Plan, and
- Input on departmental policy for the population(s) they represent.
Consumers, families, providers, and perhaps other stakeholders are all represented on each SPSC; most Standing Committee members are consumers and family members. At a minimum, the full membership of the State Program Standing Committee for Adult Mental Health would ideally include three individuals who have a personal experience of living with a mental condition or psychiatric disability, three family members of such individuals, and three providers. The State Program Standing Committee for Children, Youth, and Families.
The SPSC for Adult Mental Health held its first meeting in January 2000. The Committee ordinarily meets once a month, on the second Monday afternoon of the month (except when it conflicts with state holidays). All meetings are open to the public. Topics on some recent agendas have included:
- Redesignation of Vermont’s designated mental health agencies
- The mental-health system under health care reform,
- Suicide prevention
- The DMH budget, current and projected
The State Program Standing Committees are helping DMH achieve one of its major goals for the twenty-first century: to increase consumer and family involvement in public mental health in Vermont.
Interested in learning more or becoming a member of the Adult Statewide Program Standing Committee? To apply please complete the Adult State Program Standing Committee Application Form found here.
For more information contact the Department of Mental Health at (802) 241-0090.