Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Administrator: Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.
Congress established SAMHSA in 1992 to make substance use and mental disorder information, services, and research more accessible. SAMHSA is a public agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Prevention, treatment, and recovery support services for behavioral health are important parts of the health service systems for the community. The services work to improve our health and minimize costs to individuals, families, businesses, and governments. However, people suffering from either substance use and mental disorders, or both, because of their illness are often excluded from the current health care system and instead have to rely on "public safety net" programs. Last year alone, approximately 20 million people in need of substance abuse treatment did not receive it. Further, an estimated 10.6 million people reported an unmet need for mental health care. The gap in service to this population unnecessarily jeopardizes the health and wellness of people and causes a ripple effect in costs to American communities.