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About the Office of Behavioral Health Equity (OBHE)


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The Office of Behavioral Health Equity coordinates SAMHSA’s efforts to reduce disparities in mental and/or substance use disorders across populations.

The SAMHSA OBHE was established in accordance with Section 10334(b) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 (PDF | 2.2 MB). The law requires six agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services to establish offices of minority health.

OBHE’s efforts are focused on the promotion of behavioral health equity for underserved racial and ethnic minority, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations.

OBHE is organized around key strategies:

  1. The data strategy utilizes federal and community data to identify, monitor, and respond to behavioral health disparities.
  2. The policy strategy promotes policy initiatives that strengthen the impact of SAMHSA programs in advancing behavioral health equity.
  3. The quality practice and workforce development strategy expands the behavioral health workforce capacity to improve outreach, engagement, and quality of care for minority and underserved populations.
  4. The communication strategy increases awareness and access to information about behavioral health disparities and strategies to promote behavioral health equity.

OBHE seeks to impact SAMHSA policy and initiatives by:

  • Creating a more strategic focus on racial, ethnic, and LGBT populations in SAMHSA investments
  • Using a data-informed quality improvement approach to address racial and ethnic disparities in SAMHSA programs
  • Ensuring that SAMHSA policy, funding initiatives, and collaborations include emphasis on decreasing disparities
  • Implementing innovative, cost-effective training strategies to a diverse workforce
  • Promoting behavioral health equity at a national level
  • Serving as a trusted broker of behavioral health disparity and equity information
  • Providing consultations and presentations on issues related to behavioral health equity

Offices of Minority Health in the Department of Health and Human Services

Last Updated

Last Updated: 01/09/2023