The National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS) at its annual meeting announced that the group is changing its name to the National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (NABH).
President and CEO Mark Covall cited the opioid crisis, suicide and mass shootings as reminders of the complexity of the country’s behavioral health needs. The name change is meant to better reflect the members and the comprehensive range of services they provide.
“A lot of folks saw us as hospitals, and that’s just one part of the treatment continuum our members are involved in,” Covall tells Behavioral Healthcare Executive. “It made sense to have a name change that reflects the continuum.”
The board has been working on the new association name since last fall, calling out the need for broader inclusion to represent the range of providers who deliver mental health and substance use disorder treatment. NABH will continue to advocate for integration efforts not just among similar providers but within the healthcare system at large.
“When you look at just mental health and addiction, there are a lot of opportunities to integrate those into a system of care,” Covall says. “We know patients don’t present with just mental health or addiction. The vast majority of patients—whether you’re primary care or a psychiatric hospital or an addiction provider—the patients are presenting with complex needs.”
He says he’s not especially concerned that the new name would be confused with the National Council for Behavioral Health because the constituencies are different. While National Council includes a base of community-based care organizations, NABH represents more hospitals, residential centers and outpatient facilities with multiple levels of care. It was established in 1933.
Right now, NABH is keeping an eye on the federal budget wrangling related to the opioid crisis.
“This is not a mental health problem or an addiction problem, it’s a healthcare crisis,” Covall says. “Because of that, we need to be sure people who have these disorders are getting coverage for them and have access to all the different levels of care they need based on their situation at the time. We want to make sure funding remains predictable and is not here today and gone tomorrow.”