Behavioral Health Administration

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Dear Family and Community Members,

In June, we finalized our BHA 24/7 Facilities Revitalization Plan, modeled after the Washington State Safe Start plan.  In collaboration with the Washington State Department of Health and our health care system partners, we established a data-driven approach to safely open up our psychiatric hospitals, competency restoration programs, and Special Commitment Center.

We developed detailed plans for each phase of reopening for areas to include admissions, treatment, visitation, medical care, authorized leaves and external trips, PPE usage, and more. 

While our facilities’ phases align with the counties in which they’re located (Pierce, Spokane and Yakima), we may direct changes from the activities described in those phases if needed based upon disease activity changes within counties and facilities, and if our facilities’ supplies and capacities fluctuate. 

Thank you for your understanding as we safely reopen our facilities to regular practices and operations once more.  


Sean Murphy

Assistant Secretary of Behavioral Health Administration

What We Do

The Department of Social and Health Services’ (DSHS) Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) transforms lives by supporting sustainable recovery, independence and wellness. We do this through funding and supporting effective prevention and intervention services for youth and families, and treatment and recovery support for youth and adults with addiction and mental health conditions (also known as behavioral health).  It operates three state psychiatric hospitals and the Office of Forensic Mental Health Services that deliver high-quality services to adults and children with complex needs:

Child Study and Treatment Center is Washington's state psychiatric hospital for children and youth up to the age of 18. The center engages families and community teams to participate in the psychiatric treatment and educational services, and to plan for these young clients’ successful return to their home community.

Eastern and Western state hospitals provide evaluations, competency restoration and inpatient psychiatric treatment for individuals with serious or long-term mental illness. The hospitals deliver evidence-based and effective inpatient treatment programs, interventions and activities that promote patient recovery. Our therapeutic approach is designed to empower patients, instilling hope, support, self-discovery and independence.

The Office of Forensic Mental Health Services is responsible for the management of Washington’s adult forensic mental health care system, providing competency evaluation and restoration services. Forensic mental health services and competency restoration are for adults involved in the criminal justice system.

The Special Commitment Center (SCC) provides specialized mental health treatment for civilly committed sex offenders who have completed their prison sentences. Superior Courts in the county in which an individual was previously convicted of a sex crime have the authority to determine if individuals meet the legal definition of a sexually violent predator and to civilly commit them to the SCC.

Strategic planning is a critical component of successful organizations. It defines the direction of the agency and is used to make decisions about how to best allocate resources to achieve desired outcomes. Strategic Plan 2019-2021(pdf).

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