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This list of acronyms was originally found on the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumer Association (PMHCA) website, but over time I have worked to add more to the list as I learn them myself, or in some cases find that I’m using them without thinking.  So, thank you to PMHCA for compiling the foundation for my list of acronyms.  If you know of any that are missing, please share them with me and I’ll make sure they get added since I’m pretty sure this list is not an all-inclusive list and I would like it to be as thorough as possible.

Links to other sites listing Mental Health related acronyms

What Does this mean?

The Mental Health System has a language all its own. It is helpful to become familiar with acronyms (those initials everyone loves to use) and the different types of resources available to you. Some of the following types are found on the Information and Referral page.


Clubhouse –
a place to be with other mental health consumers – it may provide job training and other activities
Drop-In Center – a place to socialize and participate in activities with other mental health consumers
MHA – Mental Health Association – a good place to find groups and other resources in your area
MH/MR – Mental Health/Mental Retardation Office – where to call for mental health treatment and services in your area

Acronyms – Commonly used initials that stand for something

BH-Behavioral Health
Behavioral Health Managed Care Organization
BLBHS- Beacon Light Behavioral Health Services
BP – Bipolar or Bi-polar
BSU-Base Service Unit

C&Y-Children and Youth
CAO – County Assistance Office
CCBH- Community Care Behavioral Health
C/FST – Consumer/ Family Satisfaction Team
CRR – Community Residential Rehabilitation
CSP – Community Support Program
– Certified Peer Specialist
CSTAP – Consumer Satisfaction Team Alliance of PA

D&A – Drug & Alcohol
DHS – Department of Human Services
DPW – Department of Public Welfare
DVC – Disability Voting Coalition
DVCPA– Disability Voting Coalition of Pennsylvania

HC – Health Choices
HMO – Health Maintenance Organization
HC – Health Choices

ICM – Intensive Case Manager
ID – Intellectually Disabled or Intellectual Disability (replacing “MR”)
ITE – I’m The Evidence

LGBTQA – Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans-gender, and Questioning and Asexual
– Long Term Structured Residence

MA – Medical Assistance
Managed Care Organization
MH –
Mental Health
MHA – Mental Health America or Mental Health Association
MH/MR – Mental Health/Mental Retardation Office
MR –
Mental Retardation (being replaced by “ID”)

NAMI – National Alliance for Mental Illness
NAPS – National Association of Peer Specialists
– National Institute for

OMAP – Office of Medical Assistance Programs
OMHSAS – Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

PaDPW – Pennsylvania Dept. of Public Welfare
Pennsylvania Mental Health Issues (this blog)
PCP – Primary Care Practitioner
PH-MCO – Physical Health Managed Care Organization
PMHCA – Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumer Association

RC – Resource Coordinator

SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration
SAP – Service Area Plan
SSA – Social Security Administration
SSDI – Social Security Disability Insurance
SSI – Supplemental Security Income

WRAP – Wellness Recovery Action Plan

5 Responses

  1. My son 15 yo has been 3x in partial hospitalization 2x inpatient. He has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder after years of being misdiagnosed. In addiotion he is challenged with borderline intellectual skills. It seems our next step may be CRR community residential rehabilitation. Any suggestions with this mental illness for a location to checkout in Delaware County PA

  2. I would like to express my passion for your generosity for folks who require help on this one concept. Your personal commitment to passing the solution across had become astonishingly good and have regularly encouraged professionals much like me to arrive at their endeavors. Your personal important information indicates so much to me and extremely more to my colleagues. Thank you; from everyone of us.

  3. Thanks for the compliment, updates can be slow here at times, but I try to keep it interesting. Thanks also for letting me know where you found it at, that is encouraging to me in knowing that is found through places like MSN. I know when I’m looking for info to post here, I run into links to my own blog a lot on google, but haven’t used other search engines as much so I don’t always know how my presence is on them. Been online since the days when Google and Yahoo were the only major engines and I forget there are others out there sometimes.

  4. Emergency Service. Refers to activities available at any hour of the day or night to individuals in need of immediate intervention because of a personal crisis or because of problematic behavior.

    New York Alcohol Addiction Treatment

  5. I appreciate the input, and thanks for keeping tabs on what I’m adding. I’m working on trying to broaden my scope a bit and give attention to other issues beyond State Hospital Closures, but that seems to be the hot topic right now at least in what I’m finding, Might be starting a new job soon that may offer more content for the blog, but of course I’ll have to be cautious about what I post from work because of confidentiality and that kind of thing, but I will hopefully be gathering information on what works and doesn’t work in my County’s Mental health system so there might be more issues I uncover there that I can write about in generalized terms.

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