Module 3: Behavioral Health

Unit 1: Overview of Behavioral Health

Learning Objectives

In this section, the student will:

  • Describe behavioral health issues
  • Compile a list of the common medications used to treat the major mental illnesses, and identify resources that assist clients with medication management
  • Identify the warning signs and risks related to mental and behavioral health issues
  • Compile a list of community resources for mental/ behavioral health issues


  • Washington State Definition; from the WAC’s: 388-877-0200

“Behavioral health” means the prevention, treatment of, and recovery from chemical dependency, mental health and/or problem and pathological gambling disorders.

Supplemental Resources


List of Relevant Organizations

4-H National Headquarters / National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)/USDA exit disclaimer icon

Contact:; 202-401-4114

The Division of Youth and 4-H and the Division of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) at the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within USDA support the socio-economic prosperity of people and communities, develop human and community capital, provide youth leadership experiences, and ensure families remain strong and healthy.  Helpful resources provided by 4-H National Headquarters / National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)/USA:

  • 4-H Afterschool Program exit disclaimer icon increases the extension staff work in after-school programs and strengthens collaborations with other youth-serving organizations.  The program also increases the quality and availability of after-school programs in America’s communities.
  • Find a local 4-H Office exit disclaimer icon

Active Minds exit disclaimer icon

Active Minds is a nonprofit organization dedicated to utilizing the student voice to raise mental health awareness among college students. Active Minds empowers students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking while also providing expertise in college mental health promotion and suicide prevention.  Helpful resources provided by Active Minds include:

  • Mental Health Speakers Bureau exit disclaimer icon provides a directory of Active Minds speakers that can bring the mental health conversation to your community.
    • Contact Active Minds about holding an event on a college campus or for information about involving youth in mental health programming and events.
  • Send Silence Packing exit disclaimer icon is a program to reduce college student suicide and promote a dialogue about mental health issues on college campuses,
  • Awareness activities exit disclaimer icon that address negative attitudes and beliefs about mental illness, stress, eating disorders, and veteran student mental health.
  • Emerging Scholars Fellowship exit disclaimer icon provides an opportunity for students to complete independent research or creative projects devoted to mental health with emphasis on issues relevant to younger communities.
  • Find a Local Chapter exit disclaimer icon to get involved in raising mental health awareness among college students.

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry exit disclaimer icon
Contact: 202-966-7300

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry’s (AACAP) mission is to promote the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families through research, training, prevention, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment and to meet the professional needs of child and adolescent psychiatrists throughout their careers.  Helpful resources from AACAP:

Child Mind Institute exit disclaimer icon
Contact: 212-308-3118

The Child Mind Institute is committed to finding effective treatments for childhood psychiatric and learning disorders, building the science of healthy brain development, and empowering children and their families with help, hope, and answers. Helpful resources provided by The Child Mind Institute include:

The Jed Foundation exit disclaimer icon
Contact: 212-647-7544

The Jed Foundation provides expertise in promoting emotional and mental health and preventing suicide among teens, young adults, and college students.  Helpful resources provided by the Jed Foundation include:

  • Resources for campus professionals exit disclaimer icon that address emotional and mental health systems in college and university campuses and crisis management on college and university campuses.
  • Online communications strategies and resources for supporting the emotional and mental health of college students and young adults
  • Community based approaches to mental health promotion and suicide prevention

Jed Foundation Projects:

  • JedCampus exit disclaimer icon helps schools create a framework for a campus community where emotional wellbeing is nurtured and protected.
  • Half of Us exit disclaimer icon highlights stories of students and high-profile artists to increase awareness about mental health problems and the importance of getting help.
  • Ulifeline exit disclaimer icon is an online resource offering campus-specific resources for getting help and an anonymous screening tool.
  • LawLifeline exit disclaimer icon is an anonymous, confidential, online resource center, where law school students can be comfortable searching for the information they need and want regarding emotional health.
  • Transition Year exit disclaimer icon helps campuses, parents and students navigate the transition into college with a focus on emotional health.
  • Love is Louder exit disclaimer icon is a social networking campaign and grassroots movement that helps students and campuses create connectedness and encourage help-seeking.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCCTS) exit disclaimer icon

NCCTS responds to specific requests for assistance, information, speakers, training, and events.
Through their online learning center exit disclaimer icon, NCCTS offers resources, training, and educational opportunities covering:

  • Physical and sexual abuse
  • Domestic, school, and community violence
  • Natural disasters, terrorism, or military family challenges
  • Life-threatening injury and illness

National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health exit disclaimer icon
Contact: 240-403-1901

The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health is a s a national family-run organization focused on the issues of children and youth with emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs and their families. Helpful Resources provided by the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health include:

  • Networks of family members available to participate as speakers at awareness events and community dialogues.
  • Youth Led Organizations exit disclaimer icon which shares the work youth are doing at national, community, and local levels and also provides resources and opportunities for youth to join the movement.
  • Find a Local Chapter exit disclaimer icon to further support families, children and youth in your community.

The Trevor Project exit disclaimer icon

Contact to request The Trevor Foundation speakers: exit disclaimer icon, exit disclaimer icon, or exit disclaimer icon

The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.  Helpful resources provided by the Trevor Foundation:

  • The Trevor Project Programs exit disclaimer icon provide life-saving and life-affirming resources for LGBTQ youth and to create safe, accepting and inclusive environments for all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Educator and Parent Resources exit disclaimer icon including brochures, books, and films
  • Archived webinars exit disclaimer icon focus on how to reduce the risk for suicide, promote resiliency, and incorporate the best practices to create positive environments for all youth and are designed for service providers, educators, and other adults across the country.

Youth M.O.V.E. National exit disclaimer icon
Contact: 800-580-6199

Youth M.O.V.E. National is devoted to improving services and systems that support positive growth and development by uniting the voices of individuals who have lived experience in various systems including mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare. Helpful resources provided by Youth MOVE National:

  • Find a local chapter exit disclaimer icon
  • Youth M.O.V.E. National’s young adult leaders are available to provide authentic young adult voices to participate in community conversations about mental health around the country.

National and Community Organizations

American Bar Association exit disclaimer icon

The American Bar Association is committed to improving the legal profession, eliminating bias and enhancing diversity, and advancing the rule of law throughout the United States and around the world. Helpful resources from the American Bar Association:

  • American Bar Association Health Law Section exit disclaimer icon webpage
  • American Bar Association Division for Public Service exit disclaimer icon webpage
  • American Bar Association’s Commission on Youth at Risk exit disclaimer icon has entities that work with professional youth service providers.
  • American Bar Association speakers and facilitators:
    • American Bar Association’s Public Education Committee exit disclaimer icon is familiar with preparing materials and hosting local conversations to promote civic engagement and to educate youth and the general public on important legal and policy considerations and rights.
    • American Bar Association’s trained mediators/facilitators and experts in legal aspects of mental health issues and public safety are available to participate as speakers during community conversations about mental health.
    • American Bar Association’s Section of Dispute Resolution Committee on Public Policy, Consensus Building, and Democracy exit disclaimer icon can identify committee and section members to serve as facilitators for community conversations.

American Psychiatric Association (APA) exit disclaimer icon
Contact:; 888-35-PSYCH (77924)

The American Psychiatric Association member physicians work together to ensure humane care and effective treatment for all persons with mental disorders, including intellectual disabilities and substance use disorders. Helpful resources from the American Psychiatric Association:

  • Typical or Troubled?™ exit disclaimer icon School Mental Health Education Program address the important role adults can have in a teen’s life and the importance of early identification of mental health problems.
  • APA resources exit disclaimer icon on mental health.

American Psychiatric Nurses Association exit disclaimer icon
Contact: 855-863-APNA (2762)

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is committed to the specialty practice of psychiatric-mental health (PMH) nursing and wellness promotion, prevention of mental health problems, and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders. Helpful resources from the American Psychiatric Nurses Association:

  • Information about mental health nursing and recovery:
  • American Psychiatric Nurses Association speakers available to participate in community conversations about mental health.

Association for Behavioral Health & Wellness (ABHW) exit disclaimer icon
Contact:; 202-449-7660

The Association for Behavioral Health & Wellness (ABHW) is a national voice for specialty behavioral health and wellness companies. ABHW member companies provide specialty services to treat mental health, substance use and other behaviors that impact health. Helpful resources from ABHW:

  • ABHW members are available to speak about mental health and overall well-being on webinars or at community conversations. Topics of expertise include:
    • Behavioral health
    • Managed care – a checks and balances system that helps allocate fixed health care resources.
    • Equitable mental health coverage (parity)
    • Health Care Reform Implementation
  • ABHW Publications exit disclaimer icon about various ABHW issues.

Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR)/SEIU Healthcare exit disclaimer icon
Contact:; 800-247-8877

The Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR) gives residents, interns, and fellows a voice to improve their salary and working conditions, their education and training, and the quality of care they provide to patients. CIR members and alumni exit disclaimer icon are available to be speakers and/or facilitators at community conversations about mental health as well as provide resources for dialogue speakers and facilitators. CIR speakers include:

  • CIR resident physicians currently in training for all specialties, including psychiatry
  • CIR alumni who can share stories about helping patients with mental health problems

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) exit disclaimer icon
Contact: 800-54-CADCA (22322)

The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) is a membership organization representing those working to make their communities safe, healthy and drug-free. CADCA provides expertise in building coalitions to address local conditions including:

  • Underage and binge drinking
  • Youth tobacco use
  • Illicit drug use
  • Abuse of over-the-counter and prescription medicines

CADCA can support community conversations by providing training exit disclaimer icon and resources exit disclaimer icon to speakers and facilitators.

CADCA can provide local coalition members that will serve as facilitators for community conversations. Contact CADCA to connect with a local prevention coalition; CADCA has members in every state and territory.

Mental Health America exit disclaimer icon
Contact: 800-969-6642

Mental Health America (MHA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives. Helpful resources from Mental Health America:

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) exit disclaimer icon
Contact:; 800-950-6264

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Contact NAMI to access support, information, and free education programs for families and individuals living with mental health problems. Helpful resources from NAMI:

National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors (NACBHDD) exit disclaimer icon
Contact: 202-942-4296

NACBHHD’s network of county and local behavioral health and developmental disability authorities have extensive expertise in county-run mental health, substance use, and intellectual disability/ developmental disability (ID/DD) systems. NACBHDD can help communities:

  • Organize efforts and strengthen local support for community conversations about mental health
  • Identify experts from county governmental organizations to speak at or participate in local events and community conversations

National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHD) exit disclaimer icon
Contact: 703-739-9333

NASMHPD represents state mental health agencies and their directors. NASMHPD can help communities:

  • Connect with State Mental Health Commissioners exit disclaimer icon
  • Identify experts from state governmental organizations to notify about or invite to community conversations and local events.

National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare exit disclaimer icon
Contact: 202-684-7457

The National Council represents the nation’s mental health and substance use treatment providers crossing the spectrum of the behavioral healthcare industry including: community mental health centers, substance use treatment organizations, state and county agencies, children and adolescent providers, hospitals, and managed care companies. Helpful resources from the National Council:

  • Visit the National Council’s Find a Provider exit disclaimer icon website for help accessing local treatment and service providers.
  • Find a Local National Council Member Organization exit disclaimer icon to learn more about resources and services available in your community. You may also connect with member organizations to identify invite them to participate in community conversations or planning efforts.

National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery exit disclaimer icon
Contact: 866-247-9058

The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery’s mission is to ensure that consumers and survivors have a major voice in the development and implementation of health care, mental health, and social policies at the state and national levels, empowering people to recover and lead a full life in the community. National Coalition members exit disclaimer icon are available to participate as speakers at awareness events and community conversations to provide expertise in peer participation in policy development.

National Family Dialogue (NFD) exit disclaimer icon
Contact: or

The NFD (National Family Dialogue) is an open forum to exchange information, share concerns and support for families with youth that are experiencing or have experienced Substance Use Disorders. You may contact the NFD for:

  • Family resources for youth with substance use disorders
  • Information about family support networks
  • Participation in educational conference calls
  • Access to NFD Facebook page
  • Resources and current events related to youth substance use
  • NFD’s network of family members is available to participate as speakers at awareness events and community conversations.

National Physicians Alliance exit disclaimer icon

The National Physicians Alliance supports research and education programs that promote health and foster active engagement of physicians with their communities to achieve high quality, affordable health care for all.

  • NPA can identify physicians with mental health expertise who can participate in or speakers at awareness events and community conversations.
  • Connect with NPA’s Local Networks exit disclaimer icon for additional ways to collaborate with physicians in your region, state or community.

National PTA exit disclaimer icon

The National PTA represents millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. The National PTA can help you find a local PTA representative that you can invite to participate in community conversations and planning efforts.

YWCA USAexit disclaimer icon

YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. You may contact the YWCA in your local area exit disclaimer icon for expertise in mental health services, and supports for women and children who are impacted by domestic violence.


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Advanced Care Navigation 1 by The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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