Using Medicaid to Support Working Age Adults with Serious Mental Illnesses in the Community: A Handbook. CHAPTER 1: COMMUNITY SUPPORT AND FUNDING

Working age adults with serious mental illnesses can live, work, and participate successfully in the community when they have services and supports tailored to meet their individual needs and contribute to their recovery. Effectively supporting individuals requires drawing on multiple types of federal, state and local resources. No single funding stream – including Medicaid – is sufficient to meet the varied needs of individuals with serious mental illnesses. This chapter describes public funding for services and supports, how supporting individuals in the community has evolved, and the role that Medicaid can play in addressing the needs of these individuals.

Services for persons with serious mental illnesses have changed markedly over the past fifty years. They continue to evolve, benefiting from both solid research and a fuller appreciation of the importance of addressing more than just a person’s mental illness in order to promote successful community living. This chapter briefly describes the evolution of mental health services and the contemporary consensus regarding the constellation of services and supports that are needed to effectively support individuals in the community. Next, it identifies the funding streams that are used in supporting working-age adults with serious mental illnesses and discusses Medicaid’s important role in underwriting community services.

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