Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 21–33

Practice Guidelines in Mental Health and Addiction Services: Contributions from the American College of Mental Health Administration

  • Gail W. Stuart
  • A. John Rush
  • John A. Morris

DOI: 10.1023/A:1021223532682

Cite this article as:
Stuart, G.W., Rush, A.J. & Morris, J.A. Adm Policy Ment Health (2002) 30: 21. doi:10.1023/A:1021223532682


Practice guidelines have proliferated in mental health and addiction services; more than 40 organizations have developed guidelines in the field. However, much confusion, controversy, and contextual issues remain, particularly regarding effective dissemination and the clinical, financial, political, and ethical issues that emerge when evidence-based behavioral health practice guidelines are implemented in systems of care. The American College of Mental Health Administration (ACMHA) focused on these problems in their 1999 and 2000 Santa Fe Summits and produced a number of specific outcomes that contribute to thinking in the field. These include the following: (a) a taxonomy of building blocks for informed decision-making in behavioral health assessment and treatment; (b) a paradigm for the development of practice guidelines; (c) characteristics of a good practice guideline; (d) strategies for disseminating and implementing practice guidelines; and (e) areas in need of future research.

algorithmsbest practicesevidence-based practicepractice guidelines

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gail W. Stuart
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • A. John Rush
    • 4
  • John A. Morris
    • 5
  1. 1.College of MedicineMedical University of South CarolinaCharleston
  2. 2.College of NursingMedical University of South CarolinaCharleston
  3. 3.American College of Mental Health AdministrationPittsburgh
  4. 4.University of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallas
  5. 5.University of South Carolina School of MedicineColumbia