Mental Health Systems Solutions Explorer

Discover strategies, tactics, and examples of ways that evidence-based solutions can transform the U.S. mental health care landscape.

More than 46 million Americans live with a mental illness, yet only half of those Americans receive treatment. Unfortunately, even fewer people receive high-quality care that would give them the best treatment possible.

This tool is designed by RAND researchers to help connect mental health systems, policy leaders, and decisionmakers with resources and evidence-based solutions that could help transform the complex mental health landscape in the United States.

Select a goal to pursue:

Here are solutions to explore:

For a comprehensive list of recommendations, see the full report.



  • Goal

    • Expand pathways to care
    • Increase access to and availability of services
    • Establish a well-coordinated continuum of care
  • Mental health condition

  • Community

For a comprehensive list of recommendations, see the full report.

About This Tool

This interactive tool is designed to provide system-level solutions for improving mental health care—whether you are a policymaker, mental health clinic director, or business leader.

To create this tool, researchers at the RAND Corporation conducted an extensive analysis of mental health systems processes, policies, and solutions supported by both scientific and anecdotal evidence, as well as input from more than 30 experts around the country. We provide links to the evidence underpinning each solution so that you can learn more. We also provide examples of each solution in action to show what has worked for others.

For 15 detailed, evidence-based recommendations that could change the mental health landscape in the United States, read our report: How to Transform the U.S. Mental Health System.

The solutions proposed in the report address three persistent barriers to care for millions of Americans with mental illnesses:

  • Finding a doorway to care: Many individuals are never screened for mental illness or told how care could help them.
  • Getting through the door: Many people in need fail to receive care because it is unavailable, unaffordable, or inaccessible.
  • Once you’re inside: Once patients receive care, there is no guarantee that the care will be evidence-based, appropriate, and timely.

This project was supported with funding from Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals Inc. This research, like all RAND research, was conducted independently and has undergone an internal and external quality-review process.

See references