Mental Health and/or Substance Use Services Definition
Individuals and families who receive Mental Health and/or Substance Use Services improve social, emotional, psychological, cognitive, and family functioning and attain recovery and wellness.
Mental Health and/or Substance Use Services (PA-MHSU) are comprehensive, community-based, and designed to help individuals with diagnosable conditions, including: mental health disorders; disorders relating to the use of alcohol, drugs, or other substances; and co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
Based on the needs of the individual, services may address mental health symptoms, diagnoses, and associated functional impairments; resolve issues resulting from the use of alcohol, drugs, or other substances; help manage co-occurring mental health, substance use, and/or health conditions; or provide clinical support for psychosocial adjustments related to life cycle issues.
Clinical counseling programs reviewed under Mental Health and/or Substance Use Services provide counseling, support, and education to address a range of issues related to behavioral health disorders. Services focus on the treatment of diagnosable conditions where therapeutic, evidence-based interventions are provided by appropriately trained, licensed, and/or credentialed personnel.
Diagnosis, Assessment, and Referral programs provide individuals with evaluation, diagnosis, and referral to appropriate services.
Ambulatory Detoxification programs provide medication management and monitoring, clinical counseling, and other necessary support and referral services to help individuals safely withdraw from the substance(s) on which they are dependent. Services include, but are not limited to: individual assessment and treatment planning, withdrawal management (medical and non-medical), counseling and education, and referrals for ongoing substance use treatment. Programs are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week and are staffed by an interdisciplinary team of qualified professionals. The intensity of the services are determined by the level of care provided (e.g., outpatient, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization) and whether or not extended onsite monitoring is performed.
Services can be offered in a variety of settings within the community including outpatient clinics, schools, and individuals’ homes. As communication technology continues to evolve, agencies are increasingly utilizing electronic interventions to deliver services. Technologies include videoconferencing, online chat platforms, texting, and mobile applications.
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Ambulatory Detoxification programs will complete all applicable standards in the section including PA-MHSU 8.
Note: Clinical counseling programs reviewed under PA-MHSU are distinct from counseling programs reviewed under Counseling, Support, and Education Services (PA-CSE), which provide non-clinical types of counseling that offer guidance, coaching, community support, and skills building to individuals, families, and groups. Services reviewed under PA-CSE are provided by non-clinical staff, and while there is a screening and intake process, assessments and service plans are not required.
Note: Please see the PA-MHSU Reference List for the research that informed the development of these standards.
Note:For information about changes made in the 2020 Edition, please see the MHSU Crosswalk.