Behavioral Health Administration

Latest News

The Washington State Civil Discharge Settlement Agreement was recently reached between the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), the Health Care Authority (HCA) and Disability Rights Washington (DRW). It aims to improve discharge planning and out­comes for people civilly committed to Eastern and Western state hospitals. The Settlement Agreement is focused on improving discharge planning for civil patients who are or will be committed to the state hospitals for a period of 90 days or more.

You can read the Stakeholder Report here.

BHA annual report

The 2023 BHA Annual Report highlights the work done by the Behavioral Health Administration throughout the year. This report gives an overview of the people we serve, what types of treatment we offer, and a look at some of our staff. In 2023, we expanded our services, opening the doors to multiple new state care facilities and programs. These new facilities and programs will enhance and increase access to care to meet the ever-growing demand for state behavioral health services. We also dedicated efforts to enhance both new and existing programs and processes, with a focus on delivering therapeutic, trauma-informed, and socially responsive care.

The complementary 2023 BHA By the Numbers report tells the Behavioral Health Administration’s story through statistics.  While both reports are comprehensive, they only capture some of what we do and how we Transform Lives for residents throughout Washington.         

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. Check out the BHA 2023-2025 Strategic Plan here.

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