Behavioral Health Administration

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Dear Family Members,

As the spread of COVID-19 continues in our state, our Governor has made the difficult decision to temporarily stop visitations to most of our facilities.

This was not a decision that was easily made. The health and safety of your loved one is a top priority and the best way to protect them from coronavirus is to limit the number of people who come in and out of the facility.

The one exception to this new policy is our Child Study and Treatment Center.  However, our CSTC will limit visits to one adult visitor per patient per day.

In order to safeguard the health of our patients through social distancing, we are limiting any exceptions to our new visitation policy.  However, if you have extenuating circumstances and would like to request an exception to this policy, please contact your facility’s CEO by emailing

We are working on ways that we can have alternate visits and you will be updated about your loved one regularly until we are able to go back to normal operations.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.


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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