The elements that constitute the comprehensive integrated mental health program are legally defined as those "public health programs and services that, on December 16, l994, are separately recognizable and administered, without regard to the administrative unit directly responsible for the delivery of the service; among the services included are services for the mentally ill, community mental health services, services for the developmentally disabled, alcoholism services, and services for children, youth, adults, and seniors with mental disorders; . . ." (See AS 47.30.056(2)(I)(1)). There is a minimum set of services specified in the statute that provides the framework for a continuum of care for adults (See AS 47.30.046):
· Emergency services on a 24-hour basis.
· Screening, examination, and evaluation services required to complete the involuntary commitment process.
· Inpatient care.
· Crisis stabilization services.
· Treatment services.
· Case management.
· Daily structure and support.
· Residential services.
· Vocational services.
· Outpatient screening, diagnosis, and treatment services.
· Prevention and education services.
The Community Mental Health Services Act's policy and principles guide the development and delivery of these services (See AS 47.30.523). The policy emphasizes integration and coordination of services between providers. It requires the community mental health program to:
· Provide a comprehensive and integrated system of community-based mental health services to persons most in need of these services, and
· Coordinate with programs established by the following three statutes: Alcoholism and Intoxication Treatment Act, Service Programs for Older Alaskans and Other Adults, and Persons with Disabilities; and with other programs affecting the well being of persons in need of mental health services.
The Legislature requires the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority to follow certain guidelines regarding provision of services within the program that are paid for from the Trust. These services shall be "provided to recipients as close to the recipient's home and family as practical with due consideration of demographics, mental health service requirements, use of mental health services, economic feasibility, and capital expenditures required for the provision of minimum levels of service; . . ." (See AS 47.30.046(b)(5)).