Good news! Some readers will remember that back in September 2016 we filed a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) to be able to review the SAMHSA-funded applications for Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT). In October 2016, the FOI office approved our request. After a long process, we now are in possession of 600 pages of information that will help us better understand how the funded grant communities are approaching the development and implementation of AOT.
In some cases, things take a bit longer than you might have thought. Getting the funded grant applications in our hands was one of those cases. Our request went through three different FOI officers and involved a lot of redacting of information (completely appropriate) of thousands of pages of information received. A special shoutout goes to the civil servants working in federal government who were involved in the difficult task of meeting our request while ensuring that personal information in grant applications was kept private.
CMHNetwork readers on all sides of the AOT debate have never been shy about expressing their opinion on this subject, and we hope that will continue. Our ability to more fully understand how states and communities are approaching the process of Assisted Outpatient Treatment means a more informed dialogue among policy makers and practitioners about model approaches to meeting the needs of individuals with serious mental illness and their families.
President & CEO
Children's Mental Health Network