Mental Health Advisory Board
The King County Mental Health Advisory Board (MHAB) is a volunteer citizen board focusing on access to and quality of mental health services in King County. It is recognized in King County Code 2.32.010. The MHAB reviews services in the public mental health system and provides feedback about how the system could be made better. Board responsibilities include:
- Reviewing and providing comments on plans and policies.
- Local oversight on activities of the RSN including the resolution of significant concerns about service delivery and outcomes.
- Reviewing and approving recommendations from subcommittees.
- Providing information to the residents of King County on system change issues and the de-stigmatization of mental illness.
- Legislative Advocacy related to Mental Health including identifying and promoting issues of importance in prevention, treatment and recovery
- Serving as liaison between service provider boards, Chief Executive Officers, and clients.
The board is made up of a maximum number of 17 volunteer citizen members. The law requires that the Board be broadly representative of the diverse populations that live in the county and of the persons served by the public mental health program. Representation from all of King County’s rich ethnic and cultural diversity is actively sought. Parents and recipients of services are particularly encouraged to apply. People who consider themselves consumers of mental health services, or their family members, must make up at least 51% of the Board. The Board also strives to achieve broad countywide representation. Length of term is three years, renewable once. See: Board Members
The King County Mental Health Advisory Board meets on the second Tuesday of the month from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Meetings are held at the King County Chinook Building located at 401 Fifth Avenue, Seattle WA, 98104, in a first floor conference room.
Committees of the Mental Health Advisory Board
- Executive Committee: The Executive Committee meets monthly to provide updates and set the agenda for the full committee meeting.
- Nominations Committee: This ad hoc committee recruits and nominates new board members. They meet as necessary to review nominations of interested individuals, interview candidates, and present the name(s) of prospective board members to the full board for its consideration.
- Legislative Advocacy and Public Affairs Committee: This is a joint committee of the MHAB and the King County Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Administrative Board. They focus on legislative advocacy with state and local elected representatives regarding the shared issues of concern in the areas of mental health and substance abuse funding and service delivery. They also focus on public education on accessing services and stigma reduction. The community is welcome at this monthly committee meeting. Find out more.
- Quality Council: The Quality Council is made up of members of the MHAB and members of the community. Eleven persons serve on the Quality Council including MHAB members, representatives from the mental health provider network, consumers, advocates, and family members. The Council focuses on quality of care issues, client satisfaction, access to care, and service outcomes. The community is welcome at this monthly committee meeting. Find out more.
The "Community Mental Health Services Act" of 1967 is the state law, RCW 71.24 (external) authorizing the King County Executive to appoint a mental health advisory board to assist in the development of plans and policies for the operation of the county mental health program. The King County Mental Health Advisory Board was created by a County Ordinance (law) passed in 1969. That ordinance was amended in 1976 and again in 1992.
Also see: Board By-Laws (PDF)
The primary requirement for membership on the MHAB is an interest in improving the lives of persons with mental illness served by the publicly funded community mental health system. Interested residents of King County are encouraged to apply.
Attendance is required monthly at board meetings. Members are also expected to serve on one committee of the board. Committee meeting days and times vary but all committees meet once monthly for approximately one and one half-hours. Members must allow adequate time to review materials in advance of meetings to be prepared to participate in discussions. These meetings, along with additional board responsibilities, result in a minimum time commitment for board membership of approximately 10 hours per month. The term of MHAB membership is three years from the point of King County Council confirmation.
Interested individuals must attend three consecutive MHAB meetings before submitting a written application. Please contact Bryan Baird prior to attending the first meeting. A current board member will be appointed to serve interested applicants as a contact and advisor regarding board membership. Following submission of a cover letter, application, resume, and references the Advisory Board Nomination Committee will review and interview the applicant, check references, and vote whether to recommend the individual for full Board vote. Download an application (DOC).
Upon approval by the Advisory Board, the nomination is sent to the Department Director for review before forwarding to the King County Executive. Thirty days following the Executive appointment letter, the nominee will have board voting rights. At some point, (the process takes several months), the nominee will be scheduled to appear before the Metropolitan King County Council for a brief interview and confirmation vote. The term of board membership is three years from the point of King County Council confirmation.