CCHS provides what is known as integrated or collaborative primary care. This just means that medical providers such as doctors, nurse practitioners and PAs work in the same facility and on the same team along with mental health providers. At CCHS we call the mental health providers Behavioral Health Consultants or BHCs. BHCs are usually either clinical social workers with a masters degree or psychologists with a PhD degree.
BHCs are prepared to help patients with a broad range of emotional and mental problems from needing help with changing behaviors that may be hurting your health to helping to cope with being very nervous or depressed or in chronic pain, or to help patients with difficult family situations or news about a new medical problem. BHC care can be very useful both in addition to medications or as a better option to taking medication. Almost all people have a significant mental health concern or issue at some point that disrupts their life and causes significant suffering. The evidence is clear that adding mental health professionals to your medical provider’s team helps.
Combining Mental and Physical Healthcare
So many people who come to a primary care doctor have troubling emotional issues often along with physical problems. It makes sense to combine the mental and physical healthcare in the same place. This means better access to needed mental health care for our patients and better communication between the medical providers and the BHCs.