Counselling & Health Assistance

About us

About Us

NAMHPAC provides support, policy development, knowledge products, and technical assistance to the nation’s State-based mental health planning and advisory councils. NAMHPAC is a non-profit organization whose membership is nation-wide and includes members form each State and Territory mental health planning council.


Council Networking


Council Networking

Link with other state and territory mental health planning and advisory councils!

Other council members are your best resource for information sharing. The map below links to state and territory mental health planning and advisory council websites. Those state’s that do not have a dedicated council website link to the state mental health department website.

Technical Assistance

NAMHPAC can provide support to your Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council on a variety of topics and issues. Technical assistance is available concerning Council operations or mental health issues in your State or Territory. Assistance can be provided on-site or via telephone or E-mail.

Peer-to-Peer Consultations

Do you need brief advice, coaching, or just an opportunity talk through your concerns? A short, descriptive E-mail is all it takes to initiate a brief consultation. Tell us a little about yourself and your Planning Council and what’s on your mind. We will share your request with a volunteer trainer from another State or Territory to establish the brief consultation. Click here to E-mail us.

Plan a Retreat or Training for your PAC

NAMHPAC can provide on-site consultation, training, or technical assistance during a Planning Council retreat or training event. These are typically one- or two-day events using NAMHPAC staff and experienced Planning Council members from other states. We will assist you in planning the event through evaluation and continued consultation.

Onsite assistance is tailored to specific needs. Some recent responses include:
Orientation to the Federal mandates for Planning and Advisory Councils;
Using Data in fulfilling the duties of a Planning and Advisory Council;
Cultural competency;
Improving monitoring;
Understanding Evidence-Based Practices;
Recruiting key member to the Planning and Advisory Council;
Increasing autonomy and credibility;
Developing leadership skills;
Building relationships with the mental health authority; and
Facilitated action planning.
Your Planning and Advisory Council may have other needs. We will be pleased to work with you to identify individuals who can provide assistance.

On-site technical assistance is supported, in part, through grants and contracts from the Center for Mental Health Services and other grants.

All requests for this type of assistance must be in writing from the council’s current chairperson.


What are State Mental Health Planning and Advisory Councils?

In 1986, a Federal law was passed that required states to do mental health planning as a condition of receiving federal mental health funds. It further required that the planning process include various stakeholder groups-consumers of mental health services, parents of children with emotional disturbances, family members of adults with serious mental illness, representatives from State agencies: mental health, education, vocational rehabilitation, criminal justice, housing, social services and the state Medicaid agency as well as public and private entities concerned with the need, planning, operation, funding, and use of mental health services and related support services. U.S. States and Territories then formed these councils which now exist in every state.

What do these councils do?

The purpose of the planning councils in each State and Territory is to meaningfully involve concerned citizens in planning and evaluating the mental health service delivery in their states. Defined by Federal law, these councils:

Review community mental health block grant plans and make recommendations to the State administration.
Monitor, review and evaluate all mental health services throughout the State or Territory.
Serve as advocates for adults with serious mental illnesses, children with severe emotional disturbances, and others with mental health needs.
What role does NAMHPAC play in this?

NAMHPAC provides technical support, opportunities for people to share information and ideas across states, and a national voice on mental health planning issues. The people active in NAMHPAC and a small part-time staff write resource materials, organize trainings, and assist each other through telephone, fax and e-mail technical assistance. To read a history of planning councils and NAMHPAC, read NAMHPAC’s whitepaper on the “Evolution of Federal Mental Health Planning Legislation” by Joseph de Raismes III (Colorado Mental Health Planning Council).

Who are some of the people involved?

NAMHPAC has a Board of Directors and a Public Policy Committee. Board members govern the organization using the NAMHPAC Policy Manual, which is based on the Carver governance model. Board members are elected by the membership at the annual membership meeting for three-year terms. The public policy committee is an ad hoc committee of appointed members who focus on mental health planning policy issues.

How do I get more involved?

Are you are a member of one of a mental health planning or advisory council in your State or Territory or a state-level advocate? Then NAMHPAC is the network where you are likely to find people who share your concerns. Most people first get involved with NAMHPAC in order to learn, but it usually isn’t long before they find the chance to help others. You’re invited to use this site to connect and communicate with others in the network. Participate in discussion forums and join the Listserve and receive NAMHPAC’s monthly newsletter. Encourage the chair of your planning council to join and stay involved. Remember: this website is your best connection to the range of resources and services available through NAMHPAC. Plan to visit often!

How else is NAMHPAC involved with mental health issues?

NAMHPAC commentates on pertinent mental health issues, stays aware of new and emerging information, and builds relationships with other organizations in the field by participating in coalitions and groups.

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