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Welcome to the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services

Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services

Community Outreach and Engagement Unit

The Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) Unit oversees the development and implementation of innovative community-based partnerships and strategies.

Through a public health approach, COE conducts multiple  community-building activities designed to bring awareness to the importance of emotional wellness for all and access to intellectual disability services. It develops strategies to promote successful community integration and recovery and resilience strengthening opportunities.

In addition to these activities, the unit creates initiatives designed to reach individuals who may disproportionately access services.

The Community Outreach and Engagement Unit is also the central group responsible for managing, tracking, and reporting on general community-based event efforts for DBHIDS and serves as the point of contact for current outreach and engagement resources and materials.


We envision a Philadelphia where every individual can achieve health, well-being, and self-determination


The mission of the City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services is to educate, strengthen, and serve individuals and communities so that all Philadelphians can thrive

  • Create and cultivate innovative community-based strategies
  • Decrease disparities within a diverse spectrum of underserved groups
  • Cultivate community partnerships to promote the DBHIDS mission and vision
  • Promote inclusion and foster outreach and engagement to bring awareness to behavioral health and wellness
  • Develop opportunities for staff to collaborate on community connection and mobilization
Community-building activities include:
  • Building and strengthening partnerships with community- and faith-based organizations, providers, advocacy organizations, people in recovery, and family members
  • Providing local community education about mental health, addictions challenges, and recovery to promote greater understanding and acceptance of the needs of people in recovery
  • Working with local communities to identify and address disparities in behavioral health-related services

In 2005, DBHIDS created a faith-based initiative to build partnerships with Philadelphia’s faith and spiritual leaders to reach individuals in their communities. These partnerships provide pathways to connect people with substance use disorder, mental health challenges, or intellectual disabilities with needed supports and services.

A unique community participatory art initiative is a collaboration between DBHIDS and the City of Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program (MAP) as well as local artists, behavioral health service recipients, community members, providers, local funders and academic partners.

Porch Light represents an “out-of-the-box” approach to improve community resilience and wellness, as well as an innovative way for communities to improve their understanding of behavioral health conditions.

Learn more about Mural Arts / Porch Light Program

Last modified: Nov 21, 2023 @ 2:59 pm