Skip to main content

Regional Policy Council

Regional Policy Council Banner

The  Mental Health America (MHA) Regional Policy Council (RPC) cultivates a constructive partnership with its affiliate field, state policy leaders, and other mental health stakeholders working together to initiate, advocate for, and implement federal and state policies that positively affect children, youth, and adults living with mental health and substance use conditions.

MHA established the RPC in 2009 to work with MHA's Public Policy and Advocacy Department to achieve these policy goals in a coordinated and effective manner.

MHA's most knowledgeable public policy and executive affiliate leadership serve a one year term on the RPC.

Many of the issues facing mental health treatment infrastructure and adequacy are related to implementation of federal laws, or are state level issues that are common across the states.

Each state faces challenges related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid Expansion, the Mental Health Parity and Equity Act (MHPAEA), integration of behavioral health services, workforce adequacy, access to community-based services and supports, and the use of peers.

The RPC forms a nationwide movement toward a robust mental health system that promotes prevention and early intervention initiatives, access to integrated community-based treatments, and supports that are recovery-focused and that encompass community inclusion.


MHA’s Regional Policy Council (RPC) meetings and events coincide with major policymaker groups. Please note that the dates listed below are tentative and are subject to change. Please contact Director of Policy and Advocacy Caren Howard at or Vice President of State and Federal Advocacy Debbie Plotnick at for more information.

Click on each meeting to learn more and register.*

Virtual RPC meeting coinciding with the National Governor's Association winter meeting: February 12, 2021

 Learn More

Summer 2021 RPC Meetings: From Diversion To Deflection To Prevention
The Regional Policy Council (RPC) will hold a two-part virtual series for its summer meetings for affiliates, policymakers, and stakeholders.

  • Virtual RPC meeting coinciding with the American Legislative Exchange Council summer meeting: July 28, 2021

  • Virtual RPC meeting coinciding with the National Conference of State Legislatures legislative summit: August 3, 2021

 Learn More

In-Person RPC meeting coinciding with the Council of State Governments annual conference: December 1, 2021

 Learn More

*Links to more information for each meeting will be added as updates are announced.


Why Addressing Mental Health is Key to Budgeting and Legislating During COVID-19 - February 2021

Injustice and Inequity: The Path Toward Innovation and Inclusion - December 2020

COVID-19, Entrenched Inequities, and Police Practices - August 2020


Barbara Johnston, Director of Advocacy, MHA in New Jersey
Represents ME, NH, VT, NY, NJ, MA, CT, DE, PA, MD, VA

Ben Harrington, Executive Director, MHA of East Tennessee
Represents IN, KY, NC, SC, TN, AR, LA, TX, MS, GA, FL

Moe Keller, Vice President of Public Affairs and Systems Advocacy, Mental Health Colorado
Represents OK, ND, SD, WY, MT, CO, ID, AZ, NM, UT, NV, WA, OR, CA

Shannah Mulvihill, Executive Director, Mental Health Minnesota
Represents OH, IL, WI, MN, MO, KS, MI, NE, IA, HI


Mental Health America would like to thank our generous sponsors for supporting the 2021 Regional Policy Council.