Behavioral Health, Mental Health, and Substance Use Disorder are Linked


  • Behavioral health and physical health are interrelated.

  • Chronic physical conditions increase risk for behavioral health and/or substance use disorder, and the reverse is also true!

  • Seeking treatment for behavioral health and physical health are of equal importance for maintaining health and wellness.

  • Substance use disorder is a disease and can be managed and controlled with treatment.

  • Public messaging about behavioral health and recovery care that encourages people to seek care is a vital part of maintaining their overall health and wellness.

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Changing Response to Crisis


CRIS Committee Work (WA)

History: In 2021, the Washington State Legislature passed HB 1477, establishing the Crisis Response Improvement Strategy (CRIS) Committee and Steering Committee. These committees will develop recommendations to support implementation of the national 988 suicide prevention hotline and statewide improvement of behavioral health crisis response and suicide prevention services.


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) affect a wide range of people in a negative ongoing pattern.

Prenatal exposure to alcohol, cigarettes, and/or illicit drugs is associated with physical, cognitive, and behavioral problems in offspring.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.

Interrupting the generational cycle of disorder requires:

  • A  robust social safety net (which requires political will and funding)

  • Adequate frameworks of treatment modalities (which requires caregiver education)

  • Trauma informed care that actively avoids re-traumatization (which requires adequate facilities)

  • Safe and secure shelter (which requires adequate housing)

Recent Victories

  • HB 1086 Creating the State Office of Behavioral Health Consumer Advocacy

  • HB 1325 Implementing Policies Related to Children and Youth Behavioral Health

  • HB 1477 Implementing the National 988 System to Enhance and Expand Behavioral Crisis Response and Suicide Prevention Services

  • HB 1860 Preventing Homelessness among Persons Discharged from Inpatient Behavioral Health Settings

Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorder Allies

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