About Us

The Department of Behavioral Health

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What is the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH)?

The Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) is DC’s resource for mental health and substance abuse needs for families, children, youth, and adults. From prevention methods to treatment and recovery services, DBH is committed to the well-being of District residents. DBH provides access to community programs and government services to deliver support that community members need.

How does DBH prioritize Children’s Behavioral Health?

DBH supports a network of care within schools and the community that can link children and youth to preventative mental health services and treatment.

DBH Resources

  • The Children and Adolescent Mobile Psychiatric Service (ChAMPS) provides emergency assistance to children and youth undergoing a behavioral or mental health crisis to stabilize them at the scene. Available 24/7 via phone at (202) 481-1450
  • The Child/Youth Ombudsman Program provides parents and caregivers with challenges of behavioral health needs for their child. For more information contact Patricia C. Thompson-Embrack at Ombudsman Toll Free Inquiry Line: 844-698-2924, or the main office at 202-673-2200
  • The Healthy Futures Program provides consultation services in child development centers for staff, children and families, promotes social emotional development, and prevents increases in challenging behaviors. For more information, call Barbara J. Parks at (202) 727-8941 or email barbara.parks@dc.gov
  • DBH offers an array of Evidence Based Programs (EBPs) that include practice models and interventions that support children, youth, and families. These programs include but are not limited to specialized family counseling, trauma models, community based substance use treatment and transitional aged youth programming. Evidence Based Programs also include programs for children ages 0-6. For more information, call the DBH Access Helpline at 1-888-7WE-HELP (1-888-793-4357)
  • Primary Project provides screening and intervention services to children in pre-kindergarten through third grade who have mild school adjustment issues. For more information, call J’Wan Griffin at (202) 698-2469 or email at jwan.griffin@dc.gov
  • School Mental Health Program provides prevention, early intervention, and treatment services in DC Public and Public Charter Schools at the elementary, middle, education campus, and high school levels. For more information, call Barbara J. Parks at (202) 727-8941 or email barbara.parks@dc.gov
  • Drug Free Youth DC provides information about commonly abused drugs and where to find prevention and treatment resources. Click here for more information
  • The Access Helpline answers behavioral health questions and provides immediate help at 888-7WE-HELP (1-888-793-4357).
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