Behavioral Health and Care Enhancement: Building a Team to Do the Whole Job

  • Alexander Blount


For practices that are attempting to develop patient-centered team-based care, the addition of one or more behavioral health clinicians (BHC) is a logical step along the way. When done well, adding a behavioral health clinician enhances the fit of the expertise of the team to the needs of many of its patients. Behavioral health care within the primary care practice greatly increases access for patients by being a better fit to their understanding of their needs and therefore increasing its acceptability. The patterns of communication among team members that make for successful team-based care are the same ones that make for successful integration of a behavioral health clinician. The expertise that is added to the team by a behavioral health clinician can help to foster the change in “mental models of care” that has been discussed as underlying the transition to both patient-centered and team-based primary care. In addition, for patient with significant challenges in the area of the “social determinants of health,” a team member who is able to enhance the care provided by the team, sometimes called a navigator, care manager, case manager, or community health worker, is also a crucial part of an effective team.


Behavioral health Integration Care management Team Healthcare reform 


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    Psychiatric Clinicians in Primary Care

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    Support for Developing Integrated Primary Care

    1. AHRQ Integration Academy. The Playbook: A Guide to Integrating Care in Primary Care and Other Ambulatory Settings.
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    Literature on Behavioral Health Integration

    1. A current, searchable collection of literature, including journal articles, books and substantive reports done by the National Academy for the Integration of Behavioral Health and Primary Care, supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Blount
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical PsychologyAntioch University New EnglandKeeneUSA

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