EMERGENCY: Call or text 988

Welcome to the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services

Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services

Diversity includes YOU

  • Diversity: The composition of a group – specifically whether different demographics are represented in a group.
  • Equity: The centering of creating opportunities and changes to a space or system so marginalization doesn’t unjustly predict one’s success and ultimately improves outcomes for all.
  • Inclusion: A person or group of people’s abilities to contribute to and fully participate in a space. Inclusion is also the acknowledgement, celebration, and welcoming of individuals’ sense of uniqueness and belonging.
DBHIDS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team Vision

DBHIDS believes in a community where everyone can thrive and be authentic and included; has a voice and feels valued; and can achieve health, well-being, and self-determination. DBHIDS celebrates differences and advocates for equity and justice. DBHIDS strives to shift the culture boldly by collecting, reporting, and monitoring data and building partnerships and collaborations with various stakeholders. Above all, DBHIDS recognizes that diversity includes YOU.

Learn more about our Immigrant Affairs and Language Access Services

DEI Principles


Diversity at DBHIDS recognizes the unique perspectives and needs of Philadelphians in the way we serve individual and community differences by:

  • Ensuring diversity in recruitment, hiring, and promotion policies, procedures, and practices.
  • Creating and promoting safe spaces and training opportunities to increase diversity awareness; and
  • Practicing a culture where everyone participates in addressing disparities.

Equity at DBHIDS guarantees fair and full access to opportunities and resources by:

  • Ensuring policies, procedures, and practices reflect equity.
  • Creating an impartial environment; and
  • Practicing transparency to promote accountability.

Inclusion at DBHIDS respects and welcomes diverse viewpoints in collective decision-making regardless of race, gender, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, abilities, disabilities, or health care needs by:

  • Ensuring policies, procedures, and practices are inclusive.
  • Creating an environment that empowers individual to contribute without apprehension authentically; and
  • Practicing a culture of belongingness.
DEI Team Norms
  • Celebrate diversity
  • Advocate for equity
  • Embrace inclusion
  • Demonstrate respect, honesty, accountability and professionalism
  • Value teamwork, collaboration and relationships
  • Model effective and intentional communication
  • Appreciate one another
  • Recognize diversity includes YOU
DEI Team

The six-member Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) team was created in 2019 to have departmental lens on:

  • inspiring a shared vision by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the entire DBHIDS and provider systems
  • mitigating disparities; utilizing data, research, and community input for program development; and standardizing clinical quality management tools and protocols
  • providing support to the DBHIDS staff, as well as to the provider community and special populations.

We operate from a three-pronged approach: research, data, and community input to inform our work. Through collaboration, we will model inclusive work practices to promote diverse perspectives, creative viewpoints, and innovative ideas by working collaboratively across all six divisions and all four HR components while implementing department-wide workgroups reflective of staff from all levels. We will work to develop a more equitable work culture.

DEI P.A.C.E. Objectives
  1.  Enhance economic and equitable inclusion for the Department’s contracted and subcontracted Minority/Women/Disabled-owned Business Enterprises (MWDBE);
  2. Monitor and access the clinical quality of the Department’s DEI practices and attitudes while addressing the DEI needs of its workforce; and
  3. Collaborate with behavioral health providers to diversify to increase cultural humility and linguistic competencies to promote inclusive service delivery.
DEI Five-Year Plan

Over the next five years, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team will lead the charge and model the way by supporting quality management functions related to DEI by:

  • utilizing data for decision making and contributing to policy and program development for the Department and provider systems;
  • developing mechanisms to manage and standardize DEI;
  • increasing provider recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce reflective of the populations served;
  • providing leadership and coordination of clinical and provider-related quality activities associated to DEI including relevant MWDSBE providers and subcontractors;
  • enhancing reviews and quality improvement projects and evaluations;
  • promoting and enhancing awareness and understanding of DEI through a range of quality management activities and projects.
Immigrant Affairs and Language Access Services

Guided by the vision and mission of DBHIDS, the mission of this Unit is to improve the total wellness for immigrant and refugee communities through a holistic community-based engagement and service delivery approach.

Immigrant Affairs and Language Access Services assists in the development of agency-wide policies and strength-based approaches that engage and provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services for refugee and immigrant communities with behavioral health concerns. The unit also serves as an adviser/liaison to the DBHIDS Commissioner, Executive Management Team, and the City’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Essential Functions:
  1. Assessing the needs of immigrant and refugee communities as well as service providers, to identify gaps and determine how DBHIDS can deliver culturally and linguistically appropriate services to the communities
  2. Developing tools and innovative strategies that support effective service delivery for immigrant and refugee communities
  3. Identifying, developing, maintaining, and aligning resources and information—that exist across the City—to successfully integrate immigrants and refugees into the cultural, social, health, economic, and civic fabric of the City
  4. Promoting the total wellness of immigrants and refugees communities through population health approach
Language Access Services

The DBHIDS Language Access Policy provides protocols for staff when providing services to individuals who have limited English proficiency (LEP). The Policy is essential to the success of our mission to improve the health statuses of Philadelphians in need of behavioral health and/or intellectual disability services. It is the City’s policy to grant access to services or programs to every person even when there is a limited ability to speak, understand, read or write English. Staff WILL NOT suggest or require an LEP member to provide an interpreter in order to receive services.

Accessing Interpretation or Translation Services

If you or someone you know is in need of interpretation or translation services, please use the links below in the Resources section that provide all of the services offered by the City of Philadelphia.

Contact Us

For more information about the Immigrant Affairs and Language Access Service Unit, please contact unit Director Sarorng Sorn, M.S.