In 2006, local mental health and substance abuse service providers and community advocates partnered with the Regional Health Commission to begin a Regional Behavioral Health Initiative. Over the course of 4 years, the initiative improved access to behavioral health services in the Eastern Region, and served as a foundation for the Behavioral Health Network (BHN).

With the end of the Initiative in 2010, the BHN made a commitment to continue and expand this important effort. A comprehensive system of care was created to meet the behavioral health needs of people of all ages throughout the region, with a focus on those with the greatest need and the fewest resources.

In the fall of 2010, the region’s only public psychiatric acute care facility closed, making the BHN’s role in the community even more crucial. Over time, the BHN has created a coordinated, accessible, effective and accountable system of care through collaboration with hundreds of committed people in our region.

Key Results

As a result of the BHN’s coordinating efforts, the following improved patient outcomes and system-wide cost savings have been achieved:

  • Annually approximately 700 patients with a behavioral health diagnosis referred by area hospitals are successfully connected with community treatment
  • 47% reduction in total psychiatric emergency room visits
  • Significant patient improvements on the Global Assessment of Functioning scale at one-year follow up
  • Projected 278% return on investment with an average Medicaid claim cost savings of $5,450 per patient annually for all healthcare services.

Read more about the current work of the BHN in their Community Report or visit

Key Documents

BHN Community Report