President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health Recommends Network of Care

MEDIA CONTACT:
Kathy Sterbenc, publisher
415-458-5900 or Kathy@trilogyir.com

Presidents new freedom commission on mental health
recommends network of care for mental health web site

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health has showcased California's Network of Care for Mental Health (http://mh.networkofcare.org) as a model program in its ambitious, six-goal plan to fundamentally transform mental health care in America.

Today, the Commission's final report, "Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America," identifies Network of Care for Mental Health as a model program that illustrates its goal of using technology to access mental health care and information. This special California project was developed as a partnership between the California Department of Mental Health, San Diego County, and Trilogy Integrated Resources LLC. Principal collaborators include the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, the California Institute for Mental Health, and the California Mental Health Association.

President Bush appointed the Commission in April 2002 to study the mental health service delivery system and to make recommendations that would enable adults with serious mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbance to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities.

"Consumers should have the choice and capability to obtain, store, and share their personal health information," the Commission states. "The Network of Care for Mental Health, an individualized mental health resource Web site, provides a model for how consumers can use Internet technology to find pertinent mental health information; identify available services, supports, and community resources; and keep personal records on secure computer servers."

The Commission found that the general public can now access a great deal of valuable health information through the Internet. Most consumers and families want up-to-date information about the symptoms and mental disorders with which they are dealing, as well as information on effective treatments and supportive services. But today, reliable information is not always available when and how people need it most, and it is not readily or universally accessible to all Americans, the report states.

"Systems are already available to support access to Internet assessment services and health information sources in order to build a personalized health information library," the Commission states, referring to Network of Care for Mental Health.

"The user-friendly [Network of Care] Web site enables consumers and families to find pertinent mental health information; identify available services, supports, and community resources; and keep personal records on secure servers. Consumers and families can search the site's comprehensive Service Directory - by age group, diagnosis, program or agency name, keyword, or by using the 20-category menu - for mental health treatment and supportive services provided by the county and other organizations. The site also offers up-to-date information about diagnoses, insurance, and advocacy, as well as daily news from around the world concerning mental health.

"The Network of Care Web site can be easily and cost-effectively replicated in any location," the Commission continues, "because the entire infrastructure - and many of the data components; e.g., the library and national links - are identical from one region to another."

"It is truly an honor to be recognized by such a respected group of luminaries in the field of mental health," said Bruce Bronzan, president of Trilogy Integrated Resources LLC, the company that created, developed and maintains all Network of Care Web sites. "However, this is an honor we must share with all of our partners, especially Dr. Steven Mayberg, director of the California Department of Mental Health; the team at the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency's Mental Health Services, and the many consumers and family members who helped develop the site."

"It is in times like these that the mental health community can be proud of its leaders," said Afshin Khosravi, CEO of Trilogy. "This report is going to serve our community for years to come. It provides us with a guiding light to move toward a better mental health system, a more independent community and, most importantly, a higher quality of life for all.

"We at Trilogy are fortunate to have had the opportunity to make a contribution to the mental health field. The recognition we received from this distinguished group for our efforts has encouraged and inspired us to make sure we do our part toward achieving the goals outlined in the report. We thank the Commission and the President for this tremendous honor."

Network of Care for Mental Health was launched in San Diego County in April 2003. Sites are currently being developed for other California counties, including Los Angeles County. Sponsored by an innovation grant from the State of California in partnership with San Diego County, Network of Care for Mental Health is a pilot program for California and the nation.

Trilogy's Web sites also include Network of Care for Seniors and People with Disabilities, currently serving one-third of California's population, and Network of Care for Kids, which will be launched in multiple California counties in 2003. Based on requests from the state and several organizations, Trilogy is also developing Network of Care sites for domestic abuse, substance abuse and behavioral health.

Trilogy, the leading information provider in the field of social services, plans to serve the entire State of California via Network of Care by the end of 2003. For more information, please contact Trilogy at 415-458-5900 or at info@trilogyir.com.