About the Substance Use and Mental Health Initiative


In response to a 2015 community health needs assessment that identified substance use and mental health issues as problems in need of significantly greater attention and better care in the state, the Population Health Management Council (PHMC) commissioned the Substance Use and Mental Health Initiative (SUMHI) in November 2015.

The PHMC has committed support for SUMHI to work over the next three years to improve care of persons with substance use and mental health challenges and to reduce substance-related harm in our communities.

To achieve these goals, SUMHI is working collaboratively to bring together our staff, patients, community partners, and stakeholders throughout state health systems to address the full continuum of care from prevention to screening and treatment through sustained recovery.

Vision, mission, and goals

Vision: We envision a health care system where mental health and substance use issues are treated with the same urgency respect and seriousness of purpose as other illnesses and discrimination does not occur.

Mission: As part of our larger mission to promote health in the communities we serve, we advance mental health and address difficulties with substance use through targeted community partnerships, clinical practice, education, and relevant services research.

Goals: In order to serve its mission, SUMHI’s work focuses on the following core goals:

  1. A sustainable system of care for mental health and substance use challenges, including screening and treatment that is seamlessly integrated with the rest of health care.
  2. Enduring community partnerships that provide support for prevention, intervention, treatment and sustained recovery.
  3. An infrastructure that continuously builds and disseminates new knowledge to inform best practices in addressing mental health and substance challenges.

Projects and Programs

Celebrating Six Years of the Dartmouth Health Substance Use & Mental Health Initiative "SUMHI" (PDF) describes some SUMHI related projects and programs that are transforming care at Dartmouth Health.

The Dartmouth Health Substance Use and Mental Health initiative (SUMHI) Action Update occurs twice per year. This meeting serves as a forum to share clinical transformation initiatives improving care of patients with mental health and/or substance use issues.

Resources from the May 20, 2024 meeting