The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) established the Behavioral Health Advisory Committee (BHAC) as the state mental health planning council in accordance with the state's obligations under 42 U.S.C. §300x-3.


The purpose of the committee is to provide customer/consumer and stakeholder input to the Health and Human Services system in the form of recommendations regarding the allocation and adequacy of behavioral health services and programs within the State of Texas. The BHAC considers and makes recommendations to the HHS Executive Commissioner consistent with the committee’s purpose.


Recommendations to Health and Human Services system agencies regarding behavioral health services include:

  • The promotion of cross-agency coordination, state/local and public/private partnerships in the funding and delivery of behavioral health services;
  • The promotion of data-driven decision-making;
  • The prevention of behavioral health issues and the promotion of behavioral health wellness and recovery;
  • The integration of mental health and substance use disorder services in prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery services and supports;
  • The integration of behavioral health services and supports with physical health service delivery;
  • Access to services and supports in urban, rural, and frontier areas of the state;
  • Access to services and supports to special populations;
  • Rules, policies, programs, initiatives, and grant proposals/awards for behavioral health services; and
  • The five-year behavioral health strategic plan and coordinating expenditure plan.

Member Type and Representative

  • Managed Care Organization: Ayo Afejuku Gathing, Dallas
  • Family Member of Consumer: Candace Aylor, Austin
  • Adult Consumer: Elizabeth (Liz) Castaneda, Austin
  • Advocate: Stephanie Contreras, McAllen
  • Provider: Matthew Feehery, Houston
  • Family Member of Consumer: Valerie Holcomb
  • Other (with demonstrated interest in behavioral health): Colleen Horton, Smithville
  • Adult Peer Provider: Jason Howell, Austin
  • Association of Substance Abuse Programs: Cynthia Humphrey, Kerrville
  • Advocate: Celeste Johnson, Garland
  • Local Government: Windy Johnson, Austin
  • Local Government: Carlos Leon, El Paso
  • Interagency Coordinating Group for faith and community-based organizations: Lidya Osadchey, Houston
  • Youth/Young Adult Consumer: Kate Peoples, Austin
  • Texas Council of Community Centers: Andrea Richardson, Round Rock
  • Other (with demonstrated interest in behavioral health): Nakia Scott, Austin
  • Other (with demonstrated interest in behavioral health): Matthew Wolff, Greenville
  • Provider: Wayne Young, Fort Worth
  • Adult Consumer: Vacant

More Information

Contact us at or 512-206-5347.