Behavioral Health Racial Equity Collaborative

Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services (BHS) understands that behavioral health inequity is caused by inequities in social determinants of health such as housing, education and income level that disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). It is important to also recognize that these inequities are, at core, caused by racism. 

Sacramento County Behavioral Health Racial Equity Collaborative (BHREC) was established in 2020 utilizing a targeted universalism approach with community  to build Racial Equity Action Plans (BHREC Action Plans) to improve behavioral health outcomes in the Sacramento community.

The core goals of the BHREC Action Plans are determined during the Collaborative through various strategies, including a survey of the community, focus groups and analysis of already existing Sacramento and state level data. Each BHREC will create their own BHREC Action Plan, each using their own strategies to achieve the shared behavioral health equity goals of the BHREC.

Participating in the BHREC will include BHS leadership, BHS mental health and substance use disorder provider organizations, interested community representatives, and community organizations led by and for the identified communities.​


BHS is striving to advance behavioral health equity. The intended outcomes are:

  • Increase trust and authentic partnership between BHS and the identified communities.
  • Define shared goals that will shape the BHREC through feedback obtained from focus groups and key informant interviews with the specific identified communities, its providers, community partners, and BHS.
  • Support all BHREC participants, including the county, provider organizations and community partners to reduce and ultimately eliminate behavioral health inequities.




Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services (BHS) envisions a community where all Sacramento County residents thrive and have equitable access to optimal behavioral and emotional wellness. By racial equity we mean closing the gaps so that race does not predict one's success, while also improving outcomes for all.


  • BHS seeks to be an organization where staff and clients feel welcome and have a sense of belonging, that includes all cultural/ethnic identities.
  • We seek to create an organizational culture that is client/family driven and reflects community diversity at all agency levels.
  • As a member of the wider Sacramento community, and through mutual collaboration and partnerships, BHS prioritizes strategies that consider harmful impacts, advance unbiased results, and takes accountable action so that cultural/ethnic identity no longer predict behavioral health wellness.


  • Client and family driven
  • Mutual collaboration and partnership
  • An environment of belonging, emotional safety, and promotion of expressions of diversity
  • Staff reflective of community served
  • Accountability, impact, results
  • Innovation/fundamental change​

The BHS Equity Vision Statement Goal & Core Values was developed as a result of the BHREC initial planning and implementation of the Racial Equity Preparedness Survey. Many Departments/Division were involved and included Department of Personnel Services, DHS Contracts Unit, Consumer and Family Advocates, and Medical Directors. 

NOTE: The above vision is not meant as a replacement of BHS' existing statement, but rather as an articulation of how within the scope of the BHS mission, vision, and values, the agency will address equity.

Link to Behavioral Health Services Vision, Mission, Values

Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services (BHS), in collaboration with the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions (CIBHS) and Adèle James Consulting (AJC), facilitated the Sacramento County Behavioral Health Racial Equity Collaborative (BHREC) beginning in November 2020. The inten​t​ion of the BHREC was to use a targeted universalism approach to advance behavioral health ​equity for the African American/Black/of African Descent (AA/B/AD) communities in Sacramento County, California. The collaborative is led by a Steering Committee comprised of community leaders and BHS management staff.  Additional overview and support of Sacramento County BHREC can be found in the Improving Capacity to Achieve Behavioral Health Equity in Sacramento County letter​.

For more information on progress, please review the published Summary Report on Racial Equity Action Plans and Focus Group and Key Informant Interview Results in the Outcomes & Presentation section. ​


​​BHREC's initial focus on the AA/B/AD was based on the long-standing behavioral health inequities among this community; lack of trust necessary for authentic relationships that support the implementation of behavioral health equity; and the growing awareness of the unique experiences of racism experienced by this community. The focus on the Latino/Latinx/Hispanic (L/LX/H) community is based on the low utilization of specialty mental health or substance use prevention and treatment services in spite of the percentage (24%, US Census. 2021: ACS 5-Year Estimates Data) of Hispanic or Latinos residing in Sacramento County; the need for bilingual BHS providers and staff to serve this community; as well as the need to tailor engagement strategies and services to a community that is expansively ethnically and demographically diverse. 

Part of the BHREC process to eliminate racial inequities in behavioral health includes documenting the voices of various community groups through community forums, focus groups, as well as capturing the voices of interested key community members through key informant interviews. Insights gained from the forums, focus groups, and key informant interviews will be used to develop themes, strategic directions, and recommended goals for the L/LX/H BHREC.

BHREC will include BHS leadership, BHS mental health and substance use disorder provider organizations, interested L/LX/H community representatives, and community organizations led by and for L/LX/H people.

We are excited to begin this work with you and look forward to sharing the results of the initial findings and updates on these efforts soon and over the course of many months.

Latino Latinx Hispanic BHREC Letter.pdf​​

 Other Equity Initiatives

​BHS Equity Incentive 

Annual Cultural Competence Training 

​​Reporting Guidance: Annual Cultural Competence Plan ​​

For questions or inquiries, email ​

​For questions or inquiries, email​​