National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Skip to content National Council for Mental Wellbeing
Find a Provider
National Council for Mental Wellbeing logo
Stay connected to the latest news, thought leadership and resources for the behavioral heatth community, brought to you by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing.

Dale Jarvis

Dale Jarvis and Associates

Behavioral Health Centers of Excellence and the Future of Health

December 12, 2013 | Community Impact | Comments
Share on LinkedIn
Define a Center of Excellence

It’s my guess that more than 90% of those reading this know that in any given year over 40 million adults experience a mental health disorder in the United States, and nearly 20 million have a substance use disorder. In addition, individuals struggling with these conditions have healthcare costs up to 3.5 times higher than their neighbors without behavioral health disorders. And, as a group, those of us with behavioral health disorders carry twice the disease burden in the U.S. and Canada as all forms of heart disease.

I’m also guessing that many of you are seeing a series of light bulbs come on in the eyes of healthcare policy experts, health plan leaders, and medical providers – “If we don’t tackle the high morbidity and high cost of American’s with behavioral health disorders, stigma be damned, we won’t be able to fix the quality and cost problems in the U.S. healthcare system!”

To prepare for this exciting new near future, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing is kicking off a six-month crowdsourcing effort to support the rapid evolution of America’s network of mental health and substance use provider organizations. What is our aim? To help ensure behavioral health providers become deeply embedded in the emerging health delivery ecosystem through the vehicle of Behavioral Health Centers of Excellence (BHCOE).

Let’s define some terms…

Crowdsourcing: ˈkrau̇d-ˌsȯr-siŋ noun: To obtain input into a particular project by enlisting the services of a large group of people, typically via the Internet. Crowdsourcing channels the experts’ desire to solve a problem and then freely sharing the answer with everyone.

Health Delivery Organization: An organization that focuses on supporting a defined population in achieving a state of whole health and wellness through an integrated, high quality, system of care. Note the dramatic difference in meaning when the phrase Healthcare Delivery is changed to Health Delivery.

Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE): Oops! We don’t have a definition yet. This is where you and crowdsourcing come in.

What would happen if, over the next six months, we…

Enlisted hundreds or thousands of very smart people with a deep knowledge (learned or lived) of behavioral health, health behaviors, and whole health?

Released a white paper to take a first crack at a definition of a Behavioral Health Center of Excellence and its critical elements?

Began a national dialog on the National Council’s BH365 blog: (, Facebook (, and Twitter (, creating bimonthly  blog posts to push ideas out and solicit feedback, questions, new ideas, etc.?

Consolidated the crowd’s feedback into new blog posts, next drafts of the white paper, and additional roundtable webinars?

Translated what we learned into a final white paper and BHCOE sessions at the 2014 National Council Conference (#NatCon14), May 5-7, in Washington, DC?

Here’s where you as crowdsourcers come in…

Talk to us now through this blog, Facebook and Twitter (#WhatIsExcellence), responding to today’s questions below.

Watch the recording of the December 11 webinar and download the PowerPoint slides.

Talk to your friends and colleagues about BHCOEs and this project. Send them the links and emails. Help expand the crowd.

Be on the lookout for the BHCOE white paper coming your way on December 17!

Stay tuned for the upcoming Tuesday bimonthly weekly blog posts that will dig deeper into content and pose important questions for the crowdsourcers.

Today’s questions…

Tell us what you think.

  • What questions do you have about this project?
  • Are we on the right track with the concept of a Behavioral Health Center of Excellence?
  • What activities might we be missing to ensure that we make the most of this one time opportunity?
  • What should we be reading to help us become better informed?