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April 12, 2004.
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 29, 2002
President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and
the laws of the United States of America, and to improve America's
mental health service delivery system for individuals with serious
mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbances, it is
hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Establishment. There is hereby established the
President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (Commission).
Sec. 2. Membership. (a) The Commission's membership shall be
(i) Not more than fifteen members appointed by the President,
including providers, payers, administrators, and consumers
of mental health services and family members of consumers;
(ii) Not more than seven ex officio members, four of whom shall
be designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services,
and the remaining three of whom shall be designated -- one
each -- by the Secretaries of the Departments of Labor,
Education, and Veterans Affairs.
(b) The President shall designate a Chair from among the fifteen
members of the Commission appointed by the President.
Sec. 3. Mission. The mission of the Commission shall be to
conduct a comprehensive study of the United States mental health
service delivery system, including public and private sector providers,
and to advise the President on methods of improving the system. The
Commission's goal shall be to recommend improvements to enable adults
with serious mental illness and children with serious emotional
disturbances to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their
communities. In carrying out its mission, the Commission shall, at a
(a) Review the current quality and effectiveness of public and
private providers and Federal, State, and local government
in the delivery of services to individuals with serious mental
illnesses and children with serious emotional disturbances, and
identify unmet needs and barriers to services.
(b) Identify innovative mental health treatments, services, and
technologies that are demonstrably effective and can be widely
replicated in different settings.
(c) Formulate policy options that could be implemented by public
and private providers, and Federal, State, and local governments to
integrate the use of effective treatments and services, improve
coordination among service providers, and improve community
integration for adults with serious mental illnesses and children
with serious emotional disturbances.
Sec. 4. Principles. In conducting its mission, the Commission
shall adhere to the following principles:
(a) The Commission shall focus on the desired outcomes of mental
health care, which are to attain each individual's maximum level of
employment, self-care, interpersonal relationships, and community
(b) The Commission shall focus on community-level models of care
that efficiently coordinate the multiple health and human service
providers and public and private payers involved in mental health treatment
delivery of services;
(c) The Commission shall focus on those policies that maximize the
utility of existing resources by increasing cost effectiveness and
reducing unnecessary and burdensome regulatory barriers;
(d) The Commission shall consider how mental health research
can be used most effectively to influence the delivery of services;
(e) The Commission shall follow the principles of Federalism, and
ensure that its recommendations promote innovation, flexibility,
accountability at all levels of government and respect the
constitutional role of the States and Indian tribes.
Sec. 5. Administration. (a) The Department of Health and Human
Services, to the extent permitted by law, shall provide funding and
administrative support for the Commission.
(b) To the extent funds are available and as authorized by law for
persons serving intermittently in Government service (5 U.S.C. 5701-5707), members of the Commission appointed from among private
citizens of the United States may be allowed travel expenses while
engaged in the work of the Commission, including per diem in lieu
of subsistence. All members of the Commission who are officers or
employees of the United States shall serve without compensation in
addition to that received for their services as officers or
employees of the United States.
(c) The Commission shall have a staff headed by an Executive
Director, who shall be selected by the President. To the extent
permitted by law, office space, analytical support, and additional
staff support for the Commission shall be provided by executive
branch departments and agencies.
(d) Insofar as the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, may
apply to the Commission, any functions of the President under that
Act, except for those in section 6 of that Act, shall be performed
by the Department of Health and Human Services, in accordance with the
guidelines that have been issued by the Administrator of General
Sec. 6. Reports. The Commission shall submit reports to the
President as follows:
(a) Interim Report. Within 6 months from the date of this order,
an interim report shall describe the extent of unmet needs and
barriers to care within the mental health system and provide examples of
community-based care models with success in coordination of
and providing desired outcomes.
(b) Final Report. The final report will set forth the
recommendations, in accordance with its mission as stated in
of this order. The submission date shall be determined by the
Chair in consultation with the President.
Sec. 7. Termination. The Commission shall terminate 1 year from
the date of this order, unless extended by the President prior to that
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
April 29, 2002.
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