As King County prepares to take on new responsibilities as a Behavioral Health Organization (BHO) beginning April 1, 2016, Executive Constantine has nominated 15 community members to serve on a new advisory board that will provide oversight to the integration of mental health and substance use disorder services.
King County Executive Dow Constantine announced his nominees to serve on a new Behavioral Health Advisory Board that will provide oversight and guidance to the County’s implementation of the integration of mental health and substance use disorder treatment services.
“As King County shoulders new and broader responsibilities for coordinating treatment for people with mental illness and addictions, we will be aided by this talented and diverse group of community leaders helping to guide our progress,” said Executive Constantine. “Together, we will work to strengthen treatment systems so that youth and adults across King County can achieve their goal of recovery.”
King County will officially become a Behavioral Health Organization (BHO) on April 1, with responsibility for a wide range of treatment and residential services that will be provided through a new and integrated managed care service system.
Staff has been working to create the infrastructure for the BHO for over a year, in response to state legislation passed in 2014 (Senate Bill 6312) that directed the integration, first, of mental health and substance use disorder services by April 1, 2016 and the integration of physical and behavioral health services by January 1, 2020. That legislation also called for each BHO to establish an oversight board.
The role of the Behavioral Health Advisory Board is to work in an advisory capacity with the BHO to:
- Ensure high-quality services for clients and consumers.
- Facilitate equitable access to education, prevention, treatment and recovery services for clients and consumers.
- Utilize and develop relationships with public and private agencies and organizations to advance the behavioral health system and drive system improvements.
- Develop relationships with the community to promote integrated treatment of mental health, substance use disorder and physical health care services.
- Coordinate with other King County activities and endeavors to ensure the needs of people living with behavioral health disorders are addressed as appropriate.
- Provide input to the state on various regulatory, policy and programmatic issues related to behavioral health.
- Advocate for the needs of individuals living with behavioral health disorders.
“We are grateful to the members of our new advisory board for stepping forward to volunteer their time, energy and expertise to help King County achieve success not only in the integration of our services but also in creating a system of care that is truly responsive to the needs of the people we serve,” said Jim Vollendroff, Division Director for the King County Department of Community and Human Services Behavioral Health and Recovery Division.
The board nominees include individuals with a lived experience of mental illness or addiction, behavioral health professionals, law enforcement and advocates. All have been referred to the Metropolitan King County Council per the Council’s standard confirmation process. The first meeting of the new advisory board is scheduled for April 7, 2016.