What is the behavioral health consultation service?
We’re making the behavioral health consultation service available to you, the patient in your primary care and health clinics as a part of your comprehensive health care benefits. The service offers help when stress, worry, or emotional concerns about physical or other life problems interfere with your daily life.
Who is the Behavioral Health Consultant (BHC)?
The BHC is a licensed psychologist, social worker, marriage and family therapist, counselor, nurse practitioner or other professional, especially trained to work as a member of your primary care team. This team approach allows us to consider physical, behavioral and emotional aspects of your health.
What problems can the BHC help me with?
For example, the BHC can help you develop plans for smoking cessation, medication non compliance or other lifestyle changes. He or she can also help you with emotional or behavioral problems such as difficulties with your family or relationships, grief, excessive stress, depression, anxiety or anger.
How is this service different from mental health?
The BHC simply adds another option for your complete health care. You are seen directly in the primary care or health clinic. The BHC provides consultation, assessment and brief intervention, not traditional psychotherapy. If you request it, or the BHC thinks you would benefit from it, he or she will refer you to specialty mental health services. Another difference from specialty mental health care is that your BHC will document the assessment and recommendations in your outpatient medical record. He or she will not keep a separate patient mental health record.
What should I expect when I see the BHC?
Your BHC will ask you specific questions about your physical symptoms, the emotional concerns you are experiencing, your behaviors, and how all of these might be related.
Communications with your BHC may not be entirely confidential. Your BHC will make every effort to protect your privacy. But like all providers, they must report information from any patient that could have a negative impact on your life or involve violations or other reportable events . There are limits to confidentiality for all patients to ensure safety in situations involving risk to self or others.
Your provider or health care team may refer you for consultation by a BHC. Every effort will be made to coordinate your appointments on the same day as your Medical exams. You will be seen in the same practice setting.
Your appointments should last about 30 minutes or less. Your BHC will provide brief, solution – focused skills and techniques. You can expect to be seen in this clinic. The BHC will have a close working relationship with your primary medical provider and keep them updated on how you were doing. Remember: your primary care provider and you, are still the leaders of your health care team. The BHC’s main job is to help develop and implement the most helpful health care plan for you!