National Center for Effective Mental Halth Consultation

Step 1: Make a Commitment and Provide Leadership

Step 1The first step towards developing a mental health strategic plan is to make an informed commitment to the planning process. What does this mean? First, understand that a strategic plan is not something that you, as the program director, develop by yourself. To be effective, you will need to implement a collaborative, participatory, planning process. Collaborative management means that as program director, you are sharing some of the decision-making power with staff and families. The benefit to this in strategic planning is that there will be a broader commitment to the goals and activities that emerge, which ultimately will help the plan be more successful.

Time Commitment
Strategic planning takes time and effort. However, we recommend setting up a series of no more than four 2-hour meetings to work on the initial strategic plan. To guide you in organizing those four 2-hour meetings, steps three through seven of this strategic planning process each represent one strategic planning meeting. This can help the group to focus and be productive in moving towards the concrete goal of having a written plan developed in a timely way. Ideally, these meetings will be no more than a month apart, or the group can lose momentum. As the leader, you know how to best make this work in your program. In your leadership role, it is important for you to demonstrate the importance of dedicating time to the planning process by attending these meetings yourself, and by helping to ensure staff release time and family support so that the team can fully participate.




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Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development National Center for Effective Mental Health Consultation