National Council for Behavioral Health

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We are more than just a nonprofit. We are a thought leader with a 50-year track record of advancing behavioral health care. A vehicle for creating long-term, sustainable impact. And a convener of 3,326 behavioral health care providers who are changing lives and strengthening communities. With a national presence, growing network and commanding voice on Capitol Hill, we are closing the gap of unmet need for addiction and mental health care services by spearheading life-saving legislation, eliminating health disparities, fighting for parity, nurturing integrated care and increasing access to affordable care.

Throughout the year, we work with foundations to deliver unique solutions to pressing social challenges, such as access to quality mental health care, the rising rate of suicide and the opioid crisis. From offering trauma-informed training in schools and screening youth for substance use, to delivering mental health training and advancing state-level, value-based payment and care, we are putting foundations in the driver’s seat of change.

Image on Mat-Su Health Foundation

Together with the Mat-Su Health Foundation, we are providing consultation on trauma-informed practices to 15 schools in Alaska’s Matanuska-Susitna Borough school district.
We are advancing a shared trauma-sensitive philosophy, language and belief within the school system to promote the adoption of a fundamental organizational culture change.

Together with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, we gave primary care providers the tools they need to employ standardized and routine screenings for adolescent substance abuse.
We introduced Facilitating Change for Excellence in SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment), a four-year project that is developing an evidence-based and consensus-driven SBIRT model to help providers address adolescent substance use. Across 27 sites in California, 4,637 youth have already been screened.

Lady Gaga sitting with young people

Together with the Born This Way Foundation, we introduced teen Mental Health First Aid, a program that teaches teens how to help their friends with mental health or substance use issues.
We are piloting a new component of our Mental Health First Aid curriculum to provide students in grades 10-12 with the resources and tools needed to address peer-related mental health problems or crises, such as suicide.

Together with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we are teaching primary care and behavioral health state associations how to advance value-based payment and care.
We launched the Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net, a national initiative that builds capacity of state associations to advance state-level, value-based payment and care through advocacy, technical assistance and collaboration.



Since 1969, we have been serving on the frontlines of community behavioral health, fighting to ensure all Americans living with mental illnesses and addictions have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. Whether we are uniting organizations to advocate for critical policy, connecting them with public education opportunities or enabling them to improve service delivery, we are working with our partners to improve health outcomes across the country. Interested in partnering for positive impact? You can:

  • Sponsor our impact work: Help us champion holistic improvements in behavioral health care
  • Partner for public education: Support our knowledge-sharing efforts, such as Mental Health First Aid
  • Leverage our network: Engage our providers and subject matter experts for thought leadership


Throughout the year, we will present partnership opportunities that will support our efforts to raise the profile of mental illness and addiction, as well as the need for support and treatment. Current opportunities include:

  • A Platform for Educating Policymakers: The issue of treating mental illness is gaining traction in the national dialogue, including among presidential candidates running for the 2020 election. We are seeking partners to help us develop town hall forums, which will be open to all candidates and focus primarily on the issue of improving treatment and support services for individuals with mental illness. Learn more.
  • Community Convenings for Safe Consumption Spaces: As harm reduction programs have become more accepted in the current opioid crisis, there have also been opportunities to spark a larger conversation about harm reduction that includes safe consumption spaces. In safe consumption spaces, active drug users can self-administer their own substances under clinical monitoring and supervision. To address this topic proactively, we are seeking partners to help us conduct community convenings in areas that are experiencing high levels of opiate addiction and deaths due to overdose. Learn more.



Picture of Mohini Venkatesh
Mohini Venkatesh
Vice President of Business & Strategy
Picture of Jeremy Attermann
Jeremy Attermann
Project Manager, Practice Improvement



In support of disclosure requirements of the Internal Revenue Service and an effort to provide financial transparency, The National Council is sharing our most recently filed annual tax information (IRS Form 990).

Annual Report

Looking back, 2018 was a year of impact and influence. We strengthened communities, moved the needle on critical policy issues and enabled providers to effect positive change. Read our annual report to learn more about our efforts and achievements in 2018.