Mental Health Program Development

Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority
Alaska Behavioral Health Needs Assessment

Along with Agnew::Beck Consulting, an Alaska-based firm, HZA conducted a needs assessment in 2014 that aimed to assess the need of Alaskans for publicly funded behavioral health services and the capacity of the State’s behavioral health system to meet that need. The information was used as a base to guide system improvements as well as to prepare for future system change. HZA conducted extensive quantitative analysis of case management and statewide data, including National Survey on Drug Use and Health data, to identify the capacity, need and service gaps of the behavioral health system across Alaska at the state, regional and local levels. Additionally, HZA quantified the current utilization of substance abuse, mental health and co-occurring services across Alaska through analysis of data from multiple agency information systems.


Maine Department of Health and Human Services
Maine Building State Capacity for Preventing Youth Substance Use and Violence

To prepare for the conclusion of the Safe and Drug Free Schools program, Maine’s Department of Education and Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS) received a one-year Building State Capacity Grant from the United States Department of Education. As part of the resulting effort, HZA conducted a comprehensive assessment to identify state-level youth substance abuse and violence prevention strategies, programs and services, as well as associated needs, resources, gaps and duplication of effort. HZA created an inventory of existing programs at the county level as well as of supporting resources and statewide initiatives, analyzed sub-state prevalence data on key violence and substance abuse indicators to pinpoint areas where additional resources might be needed, and created a key-informant survey that was distributed to representative school administrators in each of the eight public health districts. The firm assisted the Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention for Schools Workgroup to develop a Strategic Plan that summarized the needs assessment findings, which included plans for implementation, evaluation and sustainability.


Maine Department of Health and Human Services
Transition Age Youth Policy

As evaluator of Moving Forward, Maine’s Healthy Transition Initiative for youth ages 16 to 25 with mental illness, HZA has identified systemic issues which plague mental health systems including policies, structures, eligibility criteria, service policies and treatment approaches. To address these issues HZA’s staff worked with the agency to develop a statewide policy for transition-aged youth. With HZA’s support, an advisory group was convened to craft an overarching policy statement around transition to be adopted by various departments which provide services to such youth. HZA and the advisory group work with each department to implement and operationalize the policy and to impact practice on the local level.