Business & Practice Areas: Overview
The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare has been a respected voice and trusted source for the nation’s behavioral healthcare community for nearly four decades. Together with our 1,700 member organizations, we serve our nation’s most vulnerable citizens — more than 6 million adults and children with mental illnesses and addiction disorders.
The National Council supports and highlights members' work with information, education, and initiatives directed at improving clinical and business practices. Our initiatives are designed to complement our public policy and advocacy efforts to build a behavioral healthcare system that supports recovery and ensures a meaningful life in the community for all those with mental illness and addiction disorders. The National Council and its members continue to bring real world experience, practical ideas, and innovation to today’s complex challenges.
Healthcare Reform Implementation
The National Council's Healthcare Reform Implementation work represents a systematic approach to make the vision of meaningful healthcare reform a reality through the dissemination of knowledge about the "building blocks" of reform and the establishment of learning collaboratives to help provider organizations, state associations, advocates and policymakers understand, prepare for, and influence the implementation of healthcare reform. More...
Access and Retention Initiatives
Through our work with over 60 community-based behavioral healthcare organizations around the country, the National Council's Access and Retention initiatives have demonstrated that you can increase engagement in treatment by shortening the amount of time it takes to enter care. Individual organizations have recognized 20 percent reductions in client no-show behavior. This transformative process has demonstrated that quicker access to care improves continuity and engagement of consumers. More...
Health Integration and Wellness Promotion
The National Council has fostered bidirectional integration of primary care and behavioral health for more than 10 years by developing and implementing practice models, readiness assessment tools, and training opportunities at the community level throughout the U.S.
National Council Learning Communities and Collaboratives serve as a powerful forum for dialogue, and sharing of tools and best practices among primary and behavioral healthcare provider organizations. Learning Communities increase cost savings for participating organizations by providing consultation time with experts in the field and help participating organizations learn from each other. Participants have benefited from sharing the organizational, cultural, and financial obstacles they face; access to expert technical assistance; and the availability of practical resources for use with staff within the participating organizations. More...
Psychiatric Leadership Program
Community treatment organizations want to create a culture conducive to psychiatric leadership, but lack of access to training, mentoring, or financial resources to make such an investment difficult. With support from the Center for Mental Health Services, the National Council is working with nationally recognized leaders to lead year-long learning communities using a comprehensive curriculum designed to develop and enhance effectiveness of community psychiatrists in public sector policy and service settings. The Psychiatric Leadership Development Program is enhancing psychiatric leadership and professional development in community-based mental health agencies. Participants from previously cohort continue to be engaged in the project and are providing additional support to the current 2009 class. The program has led to improved engagement and retention of psychiatrists, and ultimately improved care for people with mental illness. More...
Depression Care Collaborative
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States and the most common diagnosis among clients served by National Council members. In light of this, the National Council has launched a new initiative, the Depression Care Collaborative. The ability to track treatment progress over time is becoming an expectation for clinical care. This initiative is designed to help organizations implement evidence-based depression care in community behavioral health organizations, adapting the IMPACT model and learning from the National Depression Management Leadership Initiative: Improving Depression Care project. More...
Co-Occurring Disorder Learning Community
This National Council initiative, in partnership with MTM Services and Hazelden, is an opportunity for mental health and substance use organizations to improve care for individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Through this learning community, participating organizations are given the opportunity to enhance their ability to provide effective integrated and comprehensive care. More...
As increasing numbers of soldiers return home from Iraq and Afghanistan bearing the scars of battle in the form of mental illnesses and addiction disorders, the need for treatment far exceeds the capacity of the Veterans Administration. Across our nation, more than 2,000 community-based mental health and addictions organizations are ideally equipped to treat our troops for disabling mental and substance use disorders and help them reintegrate into civilian life. The National Council is equipping providers with information and tools to deliver critical mental health and addictions services to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families.
National Council Magazine special issue, Veterans on the Road Home
Transition Age Youth Initiative
The National Council’s Transition Age Youth Initiative is working with a community behavioral health organization to help them initiate a sustainable model to help transitional age youth achieve educational success, independent skilled work and financial independence, illness and wellness self management skills, and social skills, confidence and peer relationships. The goal of the program is to test the feasibility of developing a sustainable intervention using Medicaid.
National Council Magazine special issue, Children and Youth
National Council Magazine special issue, Prevention and Early Intervention for Mental & Addiction Disorders
Criminal Justice Initiative
The National Council is involved in several key areas related to expanding treatment services for court involved individuals with mental health and addiction disorders. Efforts include a focus on policy and practice initiatives to divert people from the criminal justice system to appropriate community based care and to connect people to necessary services upon transition into the community after incarceration. In collaboration with the CMHS National GAINS Center, stakeholder meetings across the country are facilitating discussions and the development of an agenda that will support implementation of essential elements of a system of care that will divert individuals with mental illness and co-occurring addiction disorders from the criminal justice system.
National Council Magazine special issue, Mental Health-Addictions and Criminal Justice Collaborations
Housing is a basic right for all people, including those with mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Today there is growing recognition of the fact that persons with psychiatric disabilities need stable housing to support their recovery and integration into the community. Supported housing — which allows persons with psychiatric disabilities and substance use disorders to live independently and privately in subsidized apartments and link to support services such as home visits by case managers and supports for community integration — is becoming increasingly popular and has a growing evidence base
of effectiveness. National Council members across the nation who provide housing services share experiences.
National Council Magazine special issue, Housing for People with Mental and Addiction Disorders