Behavioral Health Integration

Working as a team in Primary Care

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About 1 in 4 adults suffer from a mental health concern in a given year. Roughly half of mental health disorders start by age 15, and nearly 75% start by age 18. Behavioral health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders are among the most common and disabling health conditions worldwide, and have a significant impact on quality of life.  

Due to the associated stigma of these conditions and a shortage of mental health specialists, millions of people who have both medical and mental health needs do not receive the care they need. 

The good news is that there are effective treatments. CHA is helping patients by integrating behavioral health into our primary care centers.

Why do we offer mental health services in our primary care centers?

  • It is often more convenient for patients
  • Reduces the stigma associated with treatment for mental health conditions
  • Builds on existing provider-patient relationships
  • Helps patients cope with and manage their physical health conditions
  • Makes a lasting impact on patients’ wellbeing
  • Improves primary care providers’ ability to help patients

What to expect during your Primary Care visit?

CHA’s Primary Care Behavioral Health Integration (PCBHI) and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Integration (CAMHI) programs work together with teams and providers in Primary Care to comprehensively address patients’ needs. Using a collaborative care model, we offer a variety of services at our Primary Care sites for behavioral health concerns, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, behavioral concerns, alcohol and substance use disorders and chronic pain.

Services are customized according to patient needs and may include:

  • Annual screening/assessment using evidence-based tools
  • Collaboration with integrated behavioral health staff
  • Self-management support - including helping patients and families understand these conditions, coaching around mood and behavior concerns, and introduction to useful behavioral health websites and smartphone apps
  • Systematic patient tracking and regular outreach
  • Goal-oriented therapy
  • Psychiatric consultation, including prescribing medications
  • Medications and counseling for alcohol/substance use
  • Group therapies
  • Peer support groups
  • Close coordination with other CHA providers

Who's on Your Team?

Depending on your concerns, your PCP might refer or introduce you to a BHI team member:

  • Care Partners can offer education, resources, and supportive coaching about mood, stress, and substance use, including self-care techniques and guidance about behavioral health services at CHA and in the community.

  • Therapists (psychologists and clinical social workers) can see patients for a behavioral health evaluation, make referrals to appropriate treatment settings, and provide brief therapy to help patients identify and actively work towards specific goals.

  • Consult Psychiatrists can see patients for an evaluation in order to clarify diagnosis and treatment needs, including medications.

  • Opioid use disorder (OUD/OBAT) Nurse Case Managers can work closely with patients with opioid use disorder to help connect them with medication treatment and other needed services.

  • Recovery Coaches are peers with lived experience. They can relate to experiences with addiction and can offer a personal perspective to patients in recovery, as well as coaching, resources and support.

Locations

There are now integrated behavioral health teams at every CHA Primary Care location. Please note that meeting with integrated behavioral health team members requires a referral or introduction from your or your child’s PCP. Your PCP may also refer you or your child to mental health treatment at another CHA site or outside of CHA, depending on need and availability.

Questions?

  • Primary Care patients: Contact your CHA Primary Care Provider to learn more about available services.

  • Not a Primary Care patient yet?
    • By phone: Just call 617-665-1305 between 8:30 AM - 5 PM.

      • Please have your insurance card ready.

      • Our Doctor Finder Service will help find the best fit for your needs.

    • By email: Use our easy web form

For more about the behavioral health integration program, contact Emily Benedetto, Program Manager for Primary Care Behavioral Health Integration at 617-591-4168

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