Olmstead Initiative

The Supreme Court’s 1999 landmark decision in Olmstead v. L.C. (Olmstead) found the unjustified segregation of people with disabilities, including those disabled by serious mental illness, is a form of unlawful discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

SAMHSA has established the Olmstead Initiative, an online community fostering discussion and collaboration about upholding and implementing the aspirations of the Olmstead ruling throughout the country. Members of the group include Olmstead coordinators and key stakeholders working to promote community integration and recovery in their states and communities. The Communities of Practice offer monthly webinars on topics pertinent to assisting people with psychiatric disabilities to achieve their potential in the most integrated settings possible.

The Olmstead Initiative previously was part of the Behavioral Health Technical Assistance Learning Community (BHTalk), which promoted collaboration and knowledge development among people committed to recovery and resiliency.