Behavioral Health Advisory Council

The Washington State Behavioral Health Advisory Council (BHAC) advises and educates the Health Care Authority (HCA) on planning and implementing effective, integrated behavioral health services by promoting individual choice, prevention, and recovery in Washington State.

Learn more about BHAC. See who’s on the council.

About the council

The council includes consumers, providers, advocates, government representatives, and other private and public entities. The membership represents the state's population with respect to race, ethnicity, disability, and age, urban and rural.

As required by Section 1914(c) of the Public Health Service Act, at least 50 percent of the members are not state employees or providers of mental health services. Also, the ratio of parents with children with serious emotional disturbance to other members of the council meets the requirement to provide adequate representation.

The council on stigma

The behavioral health advisory council is committed to addressing stigma around mental health and substance use disorders. Watch two of our members share their story.


What does the council do?

The council makes decisions concerning the needs, planning, operations, funding, and use of services for mental health, substance use, and gambling disorders.

Council duties

Council members:

  • Review plans the state provides to the Council and recommend modifications.
  • Monitor, review, and evaluate—not less than once a year—the allocation and adequacy of mental health services within the state.
  • Study programs and services, analyze problems, and identify gaps and barriers in the services system.
  • Review materials provided and discuss and analyze current mental health programs and ancillary services.
  • Solicit representative points of view from the communities represented by the Planning Council members concerning mental health issues. Provide information on mental health issues within those communities.
  • Create and manage subcommittees, as necessary, to facilitate and inform its work.

Meeting information

BHAC meets six times each year at a variety of locations around the state to discuss the latest concerns and finalize decisions for that period.

Date Materials
January 5 Minutes (01/04/2022)
Date Materials
November 2 Minutes (11/02/2022)
September 7 Minutes (09/07/2022)
July 6 Minutes (07/03/2022)
May 4 Minutes (05/04/2022)
March 1 Minutes (03/01/2022)
January 5 Minutes (01/05/2022)
Date Materials
March 6 Agenda (03/06/2020)
January 8 Agenda (01/08/2020)

Council background

Beginning in 2012, the former Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) submitted one Unified Block Grant application for community mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services. However, implementing services and reporting progress for both block grants remained separate.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also encouraged states with Joint Block Grant applications to create a joint advisory council. Washington State transitioned the previous Mental Health Policy Advisory Council (MHPAC) into a council that addresses all behavioral health conditions: mental health, substance use, and problem gambling disorders.

Learn more about the history of the council.