Nearly 10 million adults in the United States suffer with serious mental illness, affecting their quality of life and that of their families and loved ones. Serious mental illness includes mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders that cause functional impairment and interfere with major life activities. Individuals with untreated serious mental illness experience poorer health outcomes and higher rates of homelessness, incarceration, and suicide. Additionally, recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that suicides are occurring at twice the rate of homicides in the United States, reinforcing the imperative to address this important issue. The NQP Leadership Consortium, which guides the work of NQP, also identified serious mental illness as a 2018 national priority for action.
The NQP Serious Mental Illness Action Team is committed to improving the quality of care for the millions of Americans with serious mental illness. The NQP Serious Mental Illness Action Team will seek to improve the quality of life of those with serious mental illness and their loved ones by serving as a mechanism for healthcare organizations, community partners, and federal agencies to come together to address gaps in care practice, such as the identification, assessment, management, and treatment of serious mental illness.
National Quality Forum (NQF) convened a multi-stakeholder NQP Action Team for NQF member organizations to engage, share, and learn from one another on a topic of national importance. Through a series of web meetings and one in-person forum, the NQP Serious Mental Illness Action Team developed and shared priorities, goals, and promising practices to inspire action in others. The NQP Action Team began its work in September 2018 and convened over an 8-month time period. The NQP Action Team culminated in a capstone public webinar in Spring 2019.
The NQP Action Team released a Call to Action for diverse stakeholders to work together to remove barriers that prohibit individuals with serious mental illness from accessing high-quality care. The Call to Action highlights areas for collaborative action, including fighting stigma and discrimination, promoting early intervention, advancing clinical education and knowledge, improving client and caregiver engagement, reinforcing parity, and addressing behavioral health workforce shortages.
NQP Action Teams are limited to National Quality Forum member organizations in good standing. Composition of NQP Action Teams emphasizes a balance of public and private stakeholder representation and diverse perspectives, as well as content expertise and/or leadership in serious mental illness.
NQF gratefully acknowledges support from Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc., WellCare Health Plans, Inc., and American Psychiatric Association towards the National Quality Partners (NQP) work on serious mental illness.
For more information on this project or if your organization is interested in sponsoring this initiative, please contact Meredith Gerland at email@example.com.