Behavioral health equity is the right to access high-quality and affordable healthcare services and supports for all populations, including Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.
As population demographics continue to evolve, behavioral healthcare systems will need to expand their ability to fluidly meet the growing needs of a diverse population.
By improving access to behavioral health care, promoting quality behavioral health programs and practice, and reducing persistent disparities in mental health and substance use services for under-resourced populations and communities, recipients can ensure that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.
In conjunction with promoting access to high-quality services, behavioral health disparities can be further mitigated by addressing social determinants of health, such as social exclusion, unemployment, adverse childhood experiences, and food and housing insecurity. In all areas, including the workforce, SAMHSA is committed to behavioral health equity.