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Virginia Behavioral Health Advisory Council

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Virginia Behavioral Health Advisory Council

Mental Health Virginia serves as the Administrative Agent for Virginia’s Behavioral Health Advisory Council (BHAC).


The mission of the BHAC is to advocate for a consumer-driven system of services and supports that promotes self-determination, empowerment, recovery, resilience, health, and the highest possible level of consumer participation in all aspects of community life including work, school, family, and other meaningful relationships.

The Council serves as the primary, ongoing forum for articulating and building a consensus among consumers, families, advocates, providers, planners, and state agencies; which will ensure a system of treatment, services, and support of high-quality care for children, adults, and elders who suffer from serious emotional disturbances, serious mental illnesses, and substance abuse.

The Council annually reviews all expenditures and budgets in the state system for mental health and substance abuse services to satisfy the federal mandate that monies spent do not conflict with the restrictions of the federal mandate. This review includes the Federal Block Grant Application and the Mental Health Plan(s) of Virginia, as expressed in the Performance Partnership Plan. Additionally, the Council reviews all other plans developed by the state that will impact mental health and substance abuse consumers; including—but not limited to—the state’s six-year Comprehensive State Plan and the Community Services Performance Contract.

The Council continuously monitors, evaluates, and reviews the implementation of the Commonwealth’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Plans including:

  • the allocation, adequacy, and quality of mental health and substance abuse services to children with serious emotional and mental disorders and adults with serious mental illness
  • the congruence between existing services and the Commonwealth’s stated values, priorities, and goals
  • the plan’s impact on improving the quality of life for Virginia’s mental health and substance abuse consumers and their families
  • direct observation, visitation, and interviews with consumers, family members, and advocates; with regard to the programs, facilities, and human rights provisions of the state.

The Council makes recommendations to the various departments and agencies serving or funding services for consumers and their families, including, but not limited to, the Commissioner and the Board of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, and the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Council monitors the activities of and makes recommendations to, state Executive and Legislative Committees whose actions affect consumers and their families.


The Council’s meetings are typically held from 10 AM to 12 PM on the third Wednesday of February, April, June, August, and October, and the first Wednesday of December.

Meetings currently occur virtually and the public is invited to attend. To access the zoom link to attend a meeting, or to see minutes from previous meetings, please visit the BHAC page on the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health website.


For further information about the Council, please contact:

Nathanael Rudney
DBHDS Office of Adult Community Behavioral Health Services
(804) 944-1037

Are you interested in becoming a member of the Virginia Behavioral Health Advisory Council?

Complete this Membership Application and send it as an email attachment to,

or mail it to:

BHAC New Membership Applications
c/o Mental Health Virginia
2008 Bremo Road, Suite 101
Richmond VA 23226