State of Washington
Mental Health Transformation Project (MHTP)

In October 2005, Washington State was awarded a Mental Health Transformation State Incentive Grant by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The grant created the Mental Health Transformation Project and calls for one year of planning and four years of implementation.

What made this grant unusual was its focus on system reform. The grant requirements specified planning and implementation, supported with community organization activities, research and evaluation, and recommendations for change in service delivery.

While the movement that ultimately led to Washington State's current mental health reform activities is decades old, the Mental Health Transformation Project process can be traced to the President's New Freedom Commission. In April 2002, President Bush signed Executive Order 13263 establishing the New Freedom Commission (NFC) on Mental Health to study problems and gaps in the mental health system and make concrete recommendations that federal, state, and local government, as well as public and private health care providers could implement.

The dictionary defines transformation as "to alter markedly the appearance or form of" or "to change the nature, function or condition of." The Mental Health Transformation Project has been pursuing a philosophy of "opportunistic management principles" to create change.

Note: The Mental Health Transformation Project is now ended. As of December 30, 2010, the main content of this website has beenmoved to the new DBHR website at