The District of Columbia Behavioral Health Association works to ensure that people who need support are at the center of the services they receive and connected to their families, caregivers, and other meaningful social supports. We meet regularly with NAMI, consumer self-advocacy groups, family run organizations, consumer legal advocates, and other stakeholders to keep beneficiaries front-of-mind.
We also recognize that mental health or addiction challenges do not occur in a vacuum. Racism is endemic across the District of Columbia. Trauma, toxic stress, and violence both contribute to and are also caused by mental illness or substance use disorders. Adverse childhood events and adverse community environments require attention to break cycles of multi-generational distress. Sexual discrimination and assault remain too common, with special need to reduce harmful treatment of members of the LGBT community.