The modules on this page were created to introduce the many roles that are involved in providing behavioral health services in primary care. It was also created to provide teachers and professors modules that they can use in health, or mental health, or substance abuse courses or programs to explain primary care, team-based care, and patient centered care that integrates behavioral health as part of a whole person approach.
Beyond the Silos
This module will discuss the historically held view that physical and mental health reflect a different kinds of health, that they require different kinds of professionals providing treatment, professionals trained in different kinds of schools, paid by different kinds of funding with the care overseen by different departments of government. Today we know that this view is inadequate or wrong on almost every level. There will be a description of the biopsychosocial model and how this differs from the biomedical model that traditionally guides a lot of medical practice. Some case illustrations will be provided to illustrate the difference in thinking between the biopsychosocial and biomedical models. The module will introduce the world of primary care and the way that problems that need a biopsychosocial approach are brought by people to their primary care doctors. At the end of this module, a short exercise will be included titled “A Day in Primary Care” which will present cases and encourage critical thinking from learners.
Primary Care Behavioral Health
This module will begin by briefly defining and discussing the key elements of primary care, including longitudinal relationship with patients, knowing an individual in the context of their family and community, focusing on preventative care in addition to treatment of acute and chronic conditions, and welcoming any problem that a patient brings, whether or not it will actually be treated in primary care. We will show the impact of primary care on the health and cost of care for entire populations. It will talk about how behavioral health services (mental health, substance abuse and health behavior change) are now becoming more common in primary care. There will be a discussion of the different levels of practice models (coordinated care, co-located care, and integrated care) and what each of these entails in terms of practice and workforce structure. We will be describing what is happening around the country in terms of integration of behavioral health and how it is developing.
Transformation to Patient Centered Team-Based Care
This module will provide an overview on the concept of patient centered team-based care and how it is designed to enhance the role of the rest of the healthcare team and relieve the time of the doctor. It will describe the benefits of team-based care, challenges or barriers to achieving it, and how integrated primary care fits the team-based practice model. The discussion will also include a description of the way various other roles within the team take on more behaviorally focused work on a team with a behavioral health clinician and how the overall program can develop.
Next Steps for You – An Introduction to the New Hampshire Primary Care Behavioral Health Workforce website
This module will discuss how someone can get involved in this exciting and expanding field of integrated behavioral health care. It will describe the educational requirements for entering the role of the BH clinician in a variety of different capacities (i.e. doctoral level, master’s level, etc.) and describe the typical educational and career trajectory of the role. Links to additional information and resources will be provided at the end of this module as well. The module will also include some description of the way that other staff roles can develop, allowing medical assistants, nurses, community health workers, and others to be important participants in the behavioral health services provided in the practice and how these staff members can access training to move into more complex roles without having to leave their jobs for more schooling.