By Sally Satel
March 29, 2016
As mental health reform makes its tortured way through Capitol Hill, one of the major sticking points is the fate of the agency that oversees federally-funded mental health services, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
This agency has been under scrutiny for failing to pay adequate attention to the needs of severely mentally ill people, such as those suffering from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, in favor of those with milder conditions. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) has been especially critical of SAMHSA - appropriately so - and his bill would tighten quality control over the agency.