Select Key Metrics on Behavioral Health

Access Behavioral Health Service Access

Behavioral health screening and delivery of services in primary care and other settings; referrals to specialty mental health care; percentage of patients prescribed psychotropic medications.

behavioral health service utilization Behavioral Health Service Utilization

Number of outpatient mental health visits; medication adherence; attendance at psychiatry and psychotherapy appointments.


In Philadelphia, behavioral health utilization rates among non-Hispanic Black/African American adults are lower than Hispanic and non-Hispanic White adults.

Behavioral Health Utilization by Race

Source: Current State of Behavioral Health in Philadelphia. Philadelphia, PA: Drexel University Urban Health Collaborative; March 2018

systemic drivers of disparities

Black adults have reduced access to care, lower quality care, and barriers to care that lead to lower utilization of behavioral health services. 

Black adults are more likely to be uninsured, not have a primary care doctor, and live in a behavioral health professional shortage area.

Black adults have been found to be less likely to initiate care, less likely to fill prescriptions, and more likely to end treatment in comparison to white adults.

Black adults with serious mental illness diagnoses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and other psychotic disorders have higher rates of incarceration than other races, while also having higher rates of misdiagnosis of serious mental illness due to cross-cultural variations in emotion expression and deficits and bias in clinician’s cultural competency.

Ongoing Efforts in the Philadelphia Community


The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia began the Healthy Minds, Healthy Kids Integrated Care Program in 2018 to connect pediatric patients with behavioral health specialists in the primary care office.  This integrated behavioral health program makes accessing behavioral health services more convenient for patients and families, reduces the stigma of seeking behavioral health care, and is associated with improved mental health outcomes for a broad range of behavioral health issues including depression, ADHD, and anxiety. 


Black Men Heal was founded in Philadelphia by Tasnim Sulaiman to provide access to mental health treatment, psychoeducation, and community resources to men of color. This mission is supported by three goals: stigma reduction, provider-client matching, and cost reduction. 

BMH Logo


A Happier You

A Happier You is a program from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine's Center for Brief Therapy. This is a 7-session program designed to teach individuals how to increase feelings of happiness. The program is offered virtually or in person and covers topics including positive events, accomplishments, personal strengths, gratitude, humor, kindness, and love. Participants in the program receive a program workbook, cognitive flexibility tool, and access to the Happier You mobile app which contains additional exercises. The Happier You program supports individuals from historically excluded communities with grants to cover the cost of program registration. 


Efforts listed here may be independent of Accelerate Health Equity. Check back to learn about a broader list of health equity efforts.