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Regional Policy Council

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The  Mental Health America (MHA) Regional Policy Council (RPC) cultivates a constructive partnership with its affiliate field, state policy leaders, and other mental health stakeholders working together to initiate, advocate for, and implement federal and state policies that positively affect children, youth, and adults living with mental health and substance use conditions.

MHA established the RPC in 2009 to work with MHA's Public Policy and Advocacy Department to achieve these policy goals in a coordinated and effective manner.

MHA's most knowledgeable public policy and executive affiliate leadership serve a one year term on the RPC.

Many of the issues facing mental health treatment infrastructure and adequacy are related to implementation of federal laws, or are state level issues that are common across the states.

Each state faces challenges related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid Expansion, the Mental Health Parity and Equity Act (MHPAEA), integration of behavioral health services, workforce adequacy, access to community-based services and supports, and the use of peers.

The RPC forms a nationwide movement toward a robust mental health system that promotes prevention and early intervention initiatives, access to integrated community-based treatments, and supports that are recovery-focused and that encompass community inclusion.


In 2019, MHA’s Regional Policy Council (RPC) meetings and events coincide with four major policymaker groups.
Click on each meeting to learn more and register.

National Governors Association (NGA): February 22, 2019 at the National Press Club, Washington, DC; coinciding with the NGA Winter Meeting.
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL): August 6, 2019 in Nashville, TN; coinciding with the NCSL Legislative Summit.
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC): August 15, 2019 in Austin, TX; coinciding with the ALEC Annual Meeting.
Council of State Governments (CSG):  December 5, 2019 in San Juan, PR; coinciding with the CSG Annual Meeting.


Barbara Johnston, Director of Advocacy, MHA in New Jersey
Represents ME, NH, VT, NY, NJ, MA, CT, DE, PA, MD, VA

Ben Harrington, Executive Director, MHA of East Tennessee
Represents IN, KY, NC, SC, TN, AR, LA, TX, MS, GA, FL

Moe Keller, Vice President of Public Affairs and Systems Advocacy, Mental Health Colorado
Represents OK, ND, SD, WY, MT, CO, ID, AZ, NM, UT, NV, WA, OR, CA

Shannah Mulvihill, Executive Director, Mental Health Minnesota
Represents OH, IL, WI, MN, MO, KS, MI, NE, IA, HI


Mental Health America would like to thank our generous sponsors for supporting the 2019 Regional Policy Council.