Behavioral Health

Our holistic, person-centered quality framework of standards reflects leadership in the field internationally through the promotion and advancement of programs and services for integrated behavioral health, mental health, substance use disorders/addictions, psychosocial rehabilitation, and family services.

What we accredit

Standards for the following types of programs/services are in the Behavioral Health (BH) Standards Manual:

  • Assertive Community Treatment
  • Assessment and Referral
  • Case Management/Services Coordination
  • Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics – NEW!
  • Community Housing
  • Community Integration
  • Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Program
  • Court Treatment
  • Crisis Contact Center
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Crisis Stabilization
  • Day Treatment
  • Detoxification/Withdrawal Management
  • Diversion/Intervention
  • Employee Assistance
  • Health Home
  • Information Call Centers
  • Inpatient Treatment
  • Integrated Behavioral Health/Primary Care
  • Intensive Family-Based Services
  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment
  • Medication Use
  • Office-Based Opioid Treatment Program
  • Outpatient Treatment
  • Partial Hospitalization
  • Person-Centered Planning
  • Prevention
  • Promoting Nonviolent Practices
  • Quality Records Management
  • Records of the Persons Served
  • Residential Treatment
  • Screening and Access to Services
  • Service Delivery Using Information and Communication Technologies
  • Specialized or Treatment Foster Care
  • Student Counseling
  • Therapeutic Communities
  • Transition/Discharge

Specific population designations

The following may be added to a program:
  • Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Children/Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Child and Adolescents
  • Consumer-Run
  • Criminal Justice
  • Eating Disorders
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Medically Complex
  • Older Adults

Accreditation for CCBHCs

A Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) is a form of provider within the U.S., established by the Excellence in Mental Health Act. CCBHCs are designed to provide whole-person care by integrating physical health with a comprehensive range of mental health and substance use disorder services to vulnerable individuals.

CCBHCs offer nine types of services, including:
  • Crisis mental health services
  • Screening, assessment, and diagnosis
  • Person-centered treatment planning
  • Outpatient mental health and substance use services
  • Outpatient clinic primary care screening and monitoring
  • Targeted case management
  • Psychiatric rehabilitation services
  • Peer support, counselor services, and family supports
  • Intensive, community-based mental health care to persons served (includes members of the armed forces and Veterans)

The SAMHSA 2023 Criteria for CCBHCs encourages states to require accreditation by an independent accrediting body. CARF has converted the SAMHSA criteria into ratable standards for the purpose of accreditation.

The standards are available in the 2024 Behavioral Health Standards Manual when CCBHC is surveyed along with other accreditation programs and in the 2024 CCBHC Standards Manual when CCBHC is the only program surveyed.

Welcome video

This video provides an introduction to accreditation in Behavioral Health and the programs included.

Get to know the standards

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Education and training

See the training calendar for details about our training opportunities and educational webinars.

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Purchase the standards

The standards are available for purchase through our online store.

Additional information

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CARF Connection blog

Learn about current trends, improving services, and the latest CARF news.

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Promising Practices

Read articles that spotlight innovative provider practices.

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Performance Management Workbook

Designed to walk providers through the process of designing a performance management system.

We are your partner for quality and success

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Value of accreditation

Our consultative peer-review process promotes active, dynamic planning focused on impact and outcomes. Learn how we can help your organization.

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Steps to accreditation

Accreditation takes time to prepare for and requires ongoing improvement efforts. We will be with you every step of the way.

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We’re here to help!

No matter where you are in your accreditation journey, we are here to answer your questions and provide assistance.

The Managing Director

Headshot of Michael Johnson, senior managing director of Behavioral Health
Michael W. Johnson, MA, CAP
Senior Managing Director of Behavioral Health

Michael Johnson is a certified addictions professional with more than 30 years of experience as a clinician, manager, and executive working in mental health, substance abuse, and intellectual disabilities.