As we know, many people do not have access to mental health care or may prefer to visit their primary health care provider rather than a mental health professional. Addressing physical and mental health concurrently is essential for optimal health outcomes and cost effective care. Our behavioral health department (BEE) follows the Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) model. Our BEE staff assists primary care providers by providing brief behavioral health sessions that can be held during the same visit with their primary care provider.
Brief behavioral health interventions, also called warm hand-offs, are evidence-based techniques designed to focus on health-related and emotional issues by making gradual cognitive-behavioral changes. We offer brief interventions (15-30 min sessions) which have been found to be beneficial in the treatment of diabetes, depression/anxiety symptoms, substance use and other preventable disorders associated with lifestyle and behavioral issues. Traditional mental health services (30-45 min sessions) are also offered upon referral by NCDV primary care provider. We provide guidance to external community referrals as needed.
Moreover, BEE services are also provided via telehealth. Telehealth is the distribution of health-related services via electronic and telecommunication technologies. Telehealth allows long-distance patient and clinician contact when a BEE clinician is not physically available at a specific NCDV site. The telehealth approach is evidence based and has been found to be effective as well as practical. Currently, our behavioral department will only be providing Telehealth services due to the COVID-19 pandemic until further notice.
Together with our team of primary care providers and nutrition department, our BEE staff provides preventive and comprehensive mental health care to all of our patients. Combining mental/behavioral health services and expertise with primary care can increase the complete quality of care, and ultimately improve quality of life of our patients. Feel free to speak with your NCDV primary care provider about behavioral health (BEE) services.