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Behavioral Health Equity

Behavioral Health Equity is the right to access quality health care for all populations regardless of the individual’s race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or geographical location. This includes access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services for mental and substance use disorders.

Advancing health equity involves ensuring that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This also applies to behavioral health. In conjunction with quality services, this involves addressing social determinants, such as employment and housing stability, insurance status, proximity to services, culturally responsive care – all of which have an impact on behavioral health outcomes.

The Office of Behavioral Health Equity (OBHE) coordinates SAMHSA’s efforts to reduce disparities in mental and/or substance use disorders across populations. Its work is organized around key strategies, including data, policy, and quality practice and workforce development.

OBHE utilizes federal and community data to identify, monitor, and respond to behavioral health disparities.

OBHE expands the behavioral health workforce capacity to improve outreach, engagement, and quality of care for minority and underserved populations.

OBHE promotes policy initiatives that strengthen the impact of SAMHSA programs in advancing behavioral health equity.

Learn about key federal behavioral health equity resources including data on health disparities and health care quality among diverse populations, information about health policy, cultural and linguistic competency, health literacy, and more.

Last Updated

Last Updated: 05/17/2022