The Behavioral Health + Economics Network, known as BHECON (pronounced “beacon”) unites diverse stakeholders to examine and advance policy reforms that strengthen states’ behavioral health delivery systems. Led by the National Council for Behavioral Health, along with state associations of behavioral health providers, BHECON builds capacity for increased advocacy at the state level to improve the lives of individuals living with serious mental illness through legislative or regulatory action. Through a series of community events, BHECON engages individuals, providers, legislators, criminal justice officials, advocacy organizations, primary care providers and organizations, and others who are economically impacted by the lack of access to needed behavioral health services to engage in problem-solving and leverage health economic data to drive policy change.
BHECON also maintains the Research Hub, a central repository for health economic data and research on the total costs of untreated mental illness, along with other important topics related to access to care. BHECON partnered with the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California to aggregate data on the state of behavioral health in each of the participating states. Comprehensive, state-specific behavioral health data chartbooks are developed for participating states and that data is used to create advocacy materials showing the return on investment and potential cost savings of fully funded behavioral health services.