Skip to main content


Behavioral health and substance use disorders affect approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population. Of those with a substance use disorder, approximately 60 percent also have a mental health disorder. Together, these disorders account for a substantial burden of disability, have been associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality from other chronic illnesses, and can be risk factors for incarceration, homelessness, and death by suicide. In addition, they can compromise a person's ability to seek out and afford health care and adhere to treatment recommendations.

To explore data, policies, practices, and systems that affect the diagnosis and provision of care for mental health and substance use disorders, the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine created the Forum on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. The forum activities are expected to advance the discussion and generate potential ideas on ways to address many of the most persistent problems in delivering mental health and substance use services. The inaugural workshop, held October 15-16, 2019, in Washington, DC, explored the key policy challenges that impede efforts to improve care for those individuals with mental health and substance use disorders. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussion of the workshop.

Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Key Policy Challenges and Opportunities to Improve Care for People with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Import this citation to:

Publication Info

116 pages |  6 x 9 | 

  • Paperback:  978-0-309-67220-7
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-67223-8

What is skim?

The Chapter Skim search tool presents what we've algorithmically identified as the most significant single chunk of text within every page in the chapter. You may select key terms to highlight them within pages of each chapter.

Copyright Information

The National Academies Press (NAP) has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's Marketplace service to offer you a variety of options for reusing NAP content. Through Marketplace, you may request permission to reprint NAP content in another publication, course pack, secure website, or other media. Marketplace allows you to instantly obtain permission, pay related fees, and print a license directly from the NAP website. The complete terms and conditions of your reuse license can be found in the license agreement that will be made available to you during the online order process. To request permission through Marketplace you are required to create an account by filling out a simple online form. The following list describes license reuses offered by the NAP through Marketplace:

  • Republish text, tables, figures, or images in print
  • Post on a secure Intranet/Extranet website
  • Use in a PowerPoint Presentation
  • Distribute via CD-ROM
  • Photocopy

Click here to obtain permission for the above reuses. If you have questions or comments concerning the Marketplace service, please contact:

Marketplace Support
International +1.978.646.2600
US Toll Free +1.855.239.3415

To request permission to distribute a PDF, please contact our Customer Service Department at

loading iconLoading stats for Key Policy Challenges and Opportunities to Improve Care for People with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: Proceedings of a Workshop...