ABOUT THE OBHA
Welcome to the new Office of Behavioral Health!
We support individuals and their families who are being served and supported in the Washington State behavioral health system. OBHA uses a trauma-informed approach to enhance behavioral health awareness, promote self-empowerment, and increase access to services. We assist individuals, families, and communities across WA State with behavioral health needs and concerns.
The work of the OBHA is based on desired outcomes expressed by participants. We provide information and referrals to all community members and assist with complaints, grievances, appeals, Mental Health Advanced Directives, and the Fair Hearings process.
History of OBHA
In May 2021, HB 1086 passed (chapter 202, Laws of 2021). This bill transferred Behavioral Health Ombuds services from the Health Care Authority to the Department of Commerce to create the new Office of Behavioral Health Advocacy.
In 2022, Peer Washington applied for and was awarded the OBHA contract from the Department of Commerce on July 1, 2022. Peer Washington is a non-profit peer ran organization.
OBHA went live on October 1, 2022, ensuring there is a Behavioral Health Advocate (formerly known as Behavioral Health Ombuds) in each of the ten regions in Washington State.
Learn more about the OBHA on the Washington State Legislature site HERE.
What is a Behavioral Health Advocate?
Behavioral Health Advocates (formerly known as Behavioral Health Ombuds) are peers with lived experience whose services are free and confidential. Serves as a neutral and confidential intermediary and provides an informal process to support residents in resolving complaints related to behavioral health programs, services and its certified providers.