The Behavioral Health Institute (BHI) is a place where innovation, research and clinical practice come together to advance mental health and addiction stabilization and treatment. The BHI is best described as a group of services and people within Harborview Medical Center, including faculty from the  UW Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, dedicated to key issues in behavioral health. Through the Institute, we will open new doors, so more people will have access to effective behavioral health care earlier. Harborview has served as a critical safety net for disadvantaged and vulnerable patients with serious mental health and substance-use problems. Our providers evaluate more than 5,000 patients a year admitted to Harborview’s psychiatric emergency department, and Harborview's inpatient unit of 66 beds serves individuals in acute psychiatric crisis.


In partnership with UW Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the BHI will train the next generation of behavioral health care professionals in evidence-based treatment and will disseminate effective practice. We plan to drive dialogue to have an even stronger voice in the community: to advocate for awareness, reduce stigma, support evidence-based policy decision-making and provide greater access to recovery-oriented programs.  What’s more, Harborview and UW Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences serve as a cornerstone for mental health research and training in a multistate region. We will expand services using underutilized technology. In creating the Behavioral Health Institute, we position ourselves to work closely with community partners and capitalize on existing strengths in research, quality patient care, and specialized training to improve behavioral health care.


We will close the gap between research and practice by creating a profile/directory of community partners who are interested in working with our researchers to advance practice and serve as a link between the two.



In 2017, a group of thoughtful, inspired people came together and raised money to create the Behavioral Health Institute at Harborview Medical Center. They wanted to create solutions by supporting research to develop better treatments. They wanted to train and inspire the next generation of mental health care professionals, and they wanted to drive dialogue—to have a stronger voice in the community to advocate for awareness and policy change leading to better mental healthcare. The progress we’ve made is exclusively because of their dedicated efforts -- it is a true community collaboration!