About Behavioral Health Initiative (BHI)

This website is for informational purposes concerning the Behavioral Health Initiative. If you are looking for referrals or additional information about behavioral health services, call 211. If this is an emergency, please call 911. 


In early 2013, Geisinger Commonwealth convened a working group on mental health services in northeastern Pennsylvania to address the region’s mental health disparities. Various community stakeholders, persons with the lived experience of mental illness and those in recovery from substance use disorders, behavioral health providers, payer organizations, and county leaders were and continue to be actively engaged.

An initiative was undertaken by the College in its 17 county region where behavioral health resources are inadequate. In the findings of a gap analysis conducted by Open Minds, 7 of the 17 counties demonstrate that the current shortage of psychiatrists (126 needed vs. 89 available), assuming there is no growth, could not be resolved for approximately 9 years. Geisinger Commonwealth is proposing that the problem cannot be addressed solely by psychiatrists but also through an approach that encompasses Telemental Health and certificate programs.

The Behavioral Health Initiative (BHI) was created to:

  • Develop a psychiatric residency program in collaboration with the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education.
  • Integrate behavioral health and physical health.
  • Implement a curriculum leading to a certificate in behavioral health to train regional healthcare providers in behavioral health issues.

Mission Statement

Geisinger Commonwealth and community partners will collaborate on solutions for the behavioral health needs of northeastern and north central Pennsylvania through services, educational programs and transdisciplinary research designed to improve the capacity and quality of clinical competencies of our healthcare workforce and enhance the wellbeing of the communities we serve.


  • Raise community awareness of behavioral health issues
  • Increase community access to behavioral health services
  • Reduce the disparity of care in behavioral health services
  • Champion the integration of behavioral and physical healthcare
  • Increase capacity of health care services
  • Strengthen the healthcare workforce

Affiliated Sites

Click here for a list of Advisory Committee members. 

BHI Affiliated Sites Updated