Behavioral health providers (BHPs) are psychologists, social workers, and other mental health professionals who work with medical providers and patients to consider the physical, emotional, and behavioral aspects of health, and determine therapeutic courses of action. A BHP can help students develop behavioral change plans for tobacco cessation, weight loss, alcohol use, exercise or other lifestyle modifications. A BHP can also help develop skills to effectively manage emotional or behavioral difficulties such as stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, anger, and relationship problems.
What health concerns are addressed in behavioral health?
BHPs can help students manage symptoms associated with various chronic medical conditions or help you cope better with these conditions. A few of these are:
- Sleep problems
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Stress management
- Smoking cessation
What should patients expect?
BHPs will ask questions about physical symptoms, emotional concerns, and lifestyle choices. Expect to obtain brief, solution-focused recommendations for health improvement and then see the BHP in the medical clinic for the next appointment. A BHP will help students and their medical provider(s) develop and implement an integrated health care plan.
Visits with a BHP are shorter in duration and fewer in number. A BHP may advise traditional mental health services at Mental Health Services or elsewhere.
How is behavioral health different from mental health?
Behavioral health is a component in overall health care, however the BHP does not provide traditional psychotherapy. Pertinent information from a student’s behavioral health appointment will be noted in their medical record, not in a mental health record.
How do I obtain a behavioral health consultation?
Students should discuss their interest in behavioral health services with a medical provider.