Our Story

The Washington Council for Behavioral Health is the professional association of licensed community behavioral health agencies across the state of Washington who have joined together to provide a unified, representative voice speaking on behalf of community behavioral health since 1977.

We are dedicated to strengthening the ability of community behavioral health agencies—our state’s safety-net providers—to transform the lives of people living with mental illness and/or addictions. The Washington Council does this through public policy and system improvement initiatives, behavioral healthcare education, and partnerships to promote recovery, expand the use of best practices, and integrate care.

Advocacy

A strong, credible, and unified voice and source for statewide expertise in community mental health and addiction treatment.

  • Participate in state legislative processes by monitoring behavioral health legislation, prepare and provide educational information, and testify at legislative hearings.
  • Develop legislative toolkits and talking points for the Council’s annual advocacy days in Olympia each February.
  • Ensure community behavioral health agencies are present and connected with key decision-makers at the right legislative and policy-making opportunities.

Policy Analysis, Translation, and Education

Analysis of key issues, trends, and policies that impact community behavioral health.

  • Analyze and interpret policy and regulatory proposals; provide timely information to member agencies and policy leaders.
  • Educate and inform policy makers about on-the-ground realities, emerging best practices, and clinical innovations.
  • Provide professional education, targeted technical assistance, and practice improvement opportunities for member agencies.
  • Present the annual Washington Behavioral Healthcare Conference, bringing together state and national experts with the behavioral health community from across Washington for several days of learning, networking, and collaborating.

Policy Analysis, Translation, and Education

Analysis of key issues, trends, and policies that impact community behavioral health.

  • Analyze and interpret policy and regulatory proposals; provide timely information to member agencies and policy leaders.
  • Educate and inform policy makers about on-the-ground realities, emerging best practices, and clinical innovations.
  • Provide professional education, targeted technical assistance, and practice improvement opportunities for member agencies.
  • Present the annual Washington Behavioral Healthcare Conference, bringing together state and national experts with the behavioral health community from across Washington for several days of learning, networking, and collaborating.

Connections

Connecting behavioral health to total health through connections with state agencies, legislators, and our member agencies.

  • Connect state agencies and legislators with the needs of the behavioral health community.
  • Connect member agencies with each other for stronger collaboration.
  • Forge partnerships with state agencies, health systems, consumer and advocate organizations, and academic and research entities to strengthen behavioral health services that support health and recovery.

Vision

A world in which behavioral health is understood and effective care is universally available.

Mission

We advocate for and support our members in strengthening communities and improving the lives of individuals and families impacted by mental illness and addictions.

Core Values

The Washington Council for Behavioral Health is dedicated to strengthening the ability of community behavioral health agencies to improve the lives of people living with mental illness and/or substance use disorders. These values represent who we are as an organization.

   Wellness

We advance policies that improve whole health and longevity, support recovery and resilience, and promote overall community health.

  Community

We support healthcare systems that reinvest in their communities, build collaborative partnerships, and place their financial resources into services which directly benefit individuals and work to nurture health, not just to treat illness.

  Sustainability

We commit to supporting the ongoing sustainability of community-based behavioral health services through public policy development, system and quality improvement initiatives, and behavioral health education.

  Collaboration

We develop active partnerships that promote recovery, expand the use of best practices, and improve health outcomes.

 Excellence

We strive to provide our member agencies with the highest quality service in all that we do.

  Respect

We demonstrate respect for people and value the diversity of our staff, member agencies, and communities.

Our Team

Ann Christian

Chief Executive Officer
(206) 628-4608 x14
achristian@thewashingtoncouncil.org

As CEO of the Washington Council, Ann guides the organization’s strategic vision, ensures the Council’s position as a leading voice and resource for community behavioral health, and builds partnerships that promote system improvement. She earned her MSW in Administration and Planning from the University of Washington, where she held a fellowship in rehabilitation social work. Ann enjoys exploring northwest cities and beaches, reading Asian fiction, and traveling abroad.

Mike Hatchett

Policy Analyst
(206) 628-4608 x16
mhatchett@thewashingtoncouncil.org

Mike is a Policy Analyst with the Washington Council, focusing on a range of issues, including the state budget. His experience includes time on the staff of Gov. Christine Gregoire and as legislative assistant to state Sen. Phil Rockefeller. Prior to joining the Council, he also held policy and communications positions with The Polyclinic and Group Health. Mike received a BA in Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MA in Communications from Gonzaga University. He lives in West Seattle with his husband, Adam, and their terrier mix, Calamity.

Joan Miller

Policy Analyst
(206) 628-4608 x13
jmiller@thewashingtoncouncil.org

Joan is a Policy Analyst with the Washington Council, focusing primarily on children’s behavioral health issues, supportive housing, and mental health parity. She previously worked as nonpartisan counsel for the Washington Senate’s Human Services & Corrections Committee. Joan received a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona and graduated cum laude from Seattle University School of Law where she earned her JD degree and served as the Law Review’s Editor-in-Chief. Joan enjoys warm PNW summers, exploring new cities, and trying new restaurants.

Alison Avery

Education & Project Manager
(206) 628-4608 x12
aavery@thewashingtoncouncil.org

Alison is the Education & Project Manager for the Washington Council, responsible for project management and organizing events including the Washington Behavioral Healthcare Conference. Alison graduated magna cum laude from Dickinson College with a BA in French, and received an MA in Medieval History from the University of Toronto. She enjoys traveling (especially to France) and reading.