The Office of Policy and Planning performs administrative operations associated with the planning, coordination, and implementation of ADMH initiatives with providers, consumers, federal, state, local agencies, 310 Board Plans, and community stakeholders to include the following:

Emergency Management and Disaster Response


Emergency Management and Disaster Response has involved assisting in statewide coordination efforts during an emergency by providing general disaster preparedness and response information in partnership with Alabama Emergency Management Agency, Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama Department of Human Resources, and other state agencies.  With stress, anxiety, and depression-like symptoms being common reactions after a disaster, an immediate response is available through the Disaster Distress Helpline. This service is operational 24/7, 365-days-a-year for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to a natural or human-caused disaster. This service is toll-free & multilingual. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

COVID-19 Pandemic Response


COVID-19 has presented unique challenges and opportunities resulting from a historical national disaster with impact to all Alabamians.  ADMH in collaboration with the Alabama Unified Command Center has responded to the national COVID-19 pandemic with urgency and efficiency.  Response activities coordinated through the Office of Policy and Planning have included allocation of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Crisis Counseling Program grant funding for the Alabama Apart Together Project, securing vital Personal Protective Equipment along with the development of a pandemic response manual and employee forms, telework protocols, departmental mitigation strategies, and coordination of inter-departmental emergency response information collectively with all ADMH Divisions.

Alabama Apart Together


The Alabama Department of Mental Health and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency stand together, more prepared to assist citizens in the state with additional resources related to COVID-19 mental health needs, with the awarding of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) AL APART TOGETHER grant. The state now offers crisis resources, help and information through regional providers, by one easy to access statewide Information Line, 1-888-442-1793. For additional information, you may also visit https://www.alabamaaparttogether.org/

Policy and Planning Review


Review, revision, and monitoring of the Alabama Department of Mental Health Central Office policies, and divisional operational guidelines is conducted through the Office of Policy and Planning.  The review of policies and procedures is completed quarterly through member review and proposed revisions policies.  The review of 310 Board Strategic Plans provided by each Board outlines planning guidance projected over a two-year time frame. Plans are reviewed by staff, followed by posting updated strategic plans to the ADMH website.

AlaVetNet


The Alabama Executive Veterans Network (AlaVetNet) is an interagency planning and coordinating body which assists Service Members, Veterans and their Families (SMVF) by connecting Veterans with resources and services tailored to their unique needs. For additional information, visit https://va.alabama.gov/alavetnet/.

Grant Management


The Office of Policy and Planning provides entity administration oversight for department wide grant management systems such as the System for Award Management, JustGrants, ASAP, and ODCES. Oversight involves the renewal, maintenance, and technical assistance associated with staff system access, user profiles and roles in conjunction with guidance for support of grant submissions, award notifications, performance and fiscal reporting, data collection, and program evaluation.

Mental Health First Aid


Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the initial help offered to a person developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Offered through ADMH, MHFA is a SAMHSA National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices Resource Center approved training which introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews appropriate supports. The training program focuses on teaching participants common risk factors and warning signs of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and schizophrenia. For more information, visit https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/

Terrorism & Disaster Coalition for Child and Family Resilience Coalition


The Terrorism and Disaster Coalition for Child and Family Resilience (TDC4) Gulf Coast Regional Coalition was created when the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center received funding from SAMHSA to establish a TDC4 project, which is a center within the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. The Gulf Coast Regional Coalition in partnership with other Coalitions nationwide work collaboratively to develop materials and provide training on interventions to support the behavioral health, wellbeing and resilience of children, their families, and communities in the face of terrorism and disaster. For more information, visit https://www.medschool.lsuhsc.edu/tdc/

Dr. Ileeia A. Smith, Director
334-353-9168