Accessing behavioral health services can seem daunting, but with the help of a Behavioral Health Navigator (BHN), you don’t have to do it alone. A BHN is trained to help connect those seeking services to resources that can help improve an individual’s lifestyle by changing eating and exercise habits, learning relaxation skills, different ways to sleep better, and improving relationships. They also help individuals learn self-care techniques to manage pain, anxiety, depression, irritability, behavior problems, medications, and other issues.
The BHN works one-on-one or with couples/families as the coordinator between the Primary Care Provider and the Mental Health Provider and assists in monitoring progress in treatment.
Responsibilities of the BHN:
- Link referred individuals to the local mental health resources which best fit their needs, and follow up to confirm the connection.
- Familiarize physicians and clinical staff about comprehensive care resources in our region.
- Facilitate care of mutual patients between Primary Care Provider and Frontier Health, including medication regimen.
- Coordinate appointments with mutual patients and communicate outcomes with treatment teams.
- Reconnect mutual patients who have lost contact with their mental and physical health treatment teams.
- Work with individuals and families one-on-one to maximize their use of insurance, resources, and physician-recommended care practices to improve the overall quality of life.
There are several positive outcomes of using a BHN. The BHN has improved rapport and working relationships between the Primary Care Provider and the Mental Health Provider, ensured establishment and continued participation in needed services, and enhanced education and connection of individuals to existing resources in the community. They have also helped boost patient involvement and confidence in team-based decision-making for improved health and reduced Emergency Department visits via fast access to Primary Care Providers to address an immediate need.
“Navigators have become an essential component in the delivery of behavioral health and primary care service for both the patient and the provider.” – Cicely Alvis, Director of Mental Health Case Management, Frontier Health
To get connected to a Behavioral Health Navigator (BHN), contact your Primary Care Provider or visit https://www.frontierhealth.org/locations/ to find a location near you.