Panhandle Behavioral
Health Alliance

Founded in 2016 and part of United Way of Amarillo and Canyon, the Panhandle Behavioral Health Alliance (PBHA) seeks to build systems that improve the behavioral health life-cycle of care for all people in the Texas Panhandle. PBHA includes: 27 counties, 150 alliance stakeholders, 25 organizational members.

What factors are essential for effective cross-sector alignment?

Shared Purpose

  • Group of stakeholders developed a shared collaborative commitment to coordinate planning, efforts, and resources with a focus on three areas (access and alignment, workforce and recruitment, and prevention and early intervention) related to mental health.
  • Two of their guiding principles are “Collaboration” and “Mindset of the Whole.”
  • Nearly all coalition partners indicated their organization’s mission and vision aligned with PBHAs.
  • Most coalition partners indicated the coalition had established shared purpose to a great extent.


  • PBHA serves as the backbone organization for its stakeholders, while the United Way of Amarillo & Canyon serves as the fiscal sponsor and supporter of this community collaboration.
  • Leadership team officers serve three-year terms with explicit roles and responsibilities.
  • Monthly work groups are convened and facilitated around its four focus areas.
  • PBHA members (those who pay membership fees) are eligible to vote on key issues and serve on the leadership team.


  • Measurement and development workgroup develop measurement tools that assist in evaluating PBHA’s progress toward achieving its mission of systems change and collective impact.
  • Data collection was also a part of grant requirement.

Finance and Sustainability

  • Partnership with United Way has allowed for in-kind sustainability (office space, staff time, etc.).
  •  The strategic planning process was funded by Amarillo Area Foundation, Baptist Community Services, High Plains Christian Ministries Foundation, and Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation.
  • In 2019, PBHA was awarded a $208,915 grant from House Bill 13 Community Mental Health Grant Program. 
  • The Alliance’s specific programs are funded through a combined effort of community partners.

Integration of Health Equity

  • Defines as “equity in all aspects,” updated from previous definition of the integration of body and mind in health care
  • Conducts a community gap survey which measures a number of proxy data points
  • An explicit and high priority for the coalition and that it was a central to the mission and vision, as indicated by a majority of coalition members

Community Trust and Accountability

  • Gains credibility through association with United Way 
  • Communicates results to stakeholders and holds annual meetings with members and leaders to build and maintain relationships 
  • Administers surveys to solicit feedback

Outcomes Achieved

  • Considerable amount of relationship building and opportunity to network
  • Published resources such as Mental Health Guide and the PHBA website 
  • Held conversations around mental health stigma
  • Achieved shared progress towards community goals and need, according to most coalition members