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Behavioral Health Advisory Council

The Washington State Behavioral Health Advisory Council (also referred to as "the Council") previously known as the Mental Health Planning Advisory Council (MHPAC) consists of consumers, providers, advocates, government representatives, and other private and public entities.. The membership represents a balanced representation of the state's population with respect to race, ethnicity, disability, and age, urban and rural.

Council members are concerned with the need, planning, operation, funding and use of services for mental health, substance use and gambling disorders.  The Council meets the requirements of Section 1914(c) of the Public Health Service Act, which stipulates that "not less than 50% of the members of the Planning Council shall be individuals who are not State employees, or providers of mental health services." The ratio of parents with children with serious emotional disturbance to other members of the Council also meets the requirement to provide adequate representation of such children in the deliberations of the Council.


The Council partners with the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery to make decisions that will best serve citizens in need of mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention programs.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has provided an opportunity for states to submit a joint application instead of two individual block grant applications: Community Mental Health Services and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment.  Beginning Federal Fiscal Year 2012, Washington State submitted its first Unified Block Grant application.  However, implementation/progress reports for both block grants will remain separate.

SAMHSA also encouraged states with Joint Block Grant applications to create a joint advisory council. Washington State transitions the previous MHPAC into a council that addresses all behavioral health conditions: mental health, substance use, and problem gambling disorders.

The Council operates under Public Law 102-321, and is responsible for the following duties:

o Review plans the state provides to the Council, and recommend modifications.

o Monitor, review, and evaluate, not less than once a year, the allocation and adequacy of mental health services within the state.

o Study programs and services, analyze problems, and identify gaps and barriers in the services system.

o Review materials provided and discuss and analyze current mental health programs and ancillary services.

o Solicit representative points of view from the communities represented by the Planning Council members concerning mental health issues.  Provide information on mental health issues within those communities.

o Create and manage subcommittees, as necessary, to facilitate and inform its work.

History of the Council


Members Representing End of Term
Armando Herrera Community Member 3/1/2015
Eleanor Owen  Community Member 3/2/2015
Sandy Gregoire Community Member  3/3/2015
Dawn Maloney  Community Member 3/4/2015
Phillip Gonzales Community Member  3/5/2015
Carolyn Cox Community Member  3/6/2015
Heather Maxwell Community Member 3/7/2015
Jo Ellen Woodrow Community Member 3/8/2015
Susan Kydd Community Member  3/9/2015
Becky Bates Provider 3/10/2015
Mary O'Brien Provider 3/11/2015
Beth Dannhardt  Provider 3/12/2015
Annabelle Payne Provider 3/13/2015
Carrie Huie-Pascua Provider 3/14/2015
Vacant  Provider 3/15/2015
Steve Kutz IPAC Tribal Representative  
Shelly Young ACHS Chair  
Mark Freedman  Regional Support Network  
Barb Putnam Children's Administration  
Kathleen Arnold Corrections  
Monica Reeves Developmental Disabilities   
Tory Henderson Health  
Dan Halpin Insurance Commissioner's Office  
Pamala Sacks-Lawlar Juvenile Rehabilitation  
Marliee Fosbre Home/Community Services   
Ron Hertel Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction  
Rae Simpson Problem Gambling  
Vacant  Health Care Authority  
Vacant  Vocational Rehabilitation  

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