Amid Changing Cultural Climate, Behavioral Health Group Changes Name

The National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems this week announced it would change its name to the National Association for Behavioral Healthcare, citing shifting cultural trends.

At a time when issues of mental and behavioral health are front and center in the news cycle, an association that targets many of those issues is changing its name.

The onetime National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems announced Monday that it would change its name to the National Association for Behavioral Healthcare. In explaining the change, NABH cited a series of major news stories keeping behavioral health in front of discussions— including the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, high suicide rates, and the opioid crisis.

The association, active for the past 85 years and representing more than 1,000 specialty psychiatric hospitals and other facilities nationwide, recently spoke up on the latter issue to members of Congress, sending letters to leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee [PDF] and the Senate Finance Committee [PDF] that recommend a variety of policy solutions for funding behavioral health solutions to opioid use.

“Our nation’s behavioral health needs are as complex as they are numerous,” said NABH’s president and CEO, Mark Covall, in a news release on the name change. “That’s why we decided our association’s name should better reflect all our members and the comprehensive range of services they provide.”

A name change was approved last fall, with the goals of better reflecting the association’s advocacy mission, highlighting its vision for behavioral health care, emphasizing the group’s mission, and inviting other organizations to join the group.

Brent Turner, NABH’s board chair, added that these issues receiving attention recently have always been front of mind for the association, but it wanted that to be more clear to the outside world.

“Our board understood that our new name should build on our association’s excellent and long-standing work—and, more important, position the association for the future,” Turner said in the release.

NABH announced the change at its annual meeting, taking place in Washington, DC, this week.

(Shidlovski/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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