The Behavioral Health Specialist is a core member of the collaborative care team, including the patient’s medical provider and psychiatric consultant, as well as the larger primary care team or medical team. The Behavioral Health Specialist is responsible for supporting and coordinating the mental and behavioral health care of patients on an assigned patient caseload, with the patient’s medical provider and, when appropriate, other mental health providers.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1. Support the mental and behavioral health care of patients on an assigned patient caseload. Closely coordinate care with the patient’s medical provider and, when appropriate, other mental health providers.
2. Screen and assess patients for common mental health and substance abuse disorders. Facilitate patient engagement and follow-up care.
3. Provide patient education about common mental health disorders and the available treatment options.
4. Systematically track treatment response and monitor patients (in person or by telephone) for changes in clinical symptoms and treatment side effects or complications.
5. Support psychotropic medication management as prescribed by medical providers, focusing on treatment adherence monitoring, side effects, and effectiveness of treatment.
6. Participate in regularly scheduled (usually weekly) caseload consultation with the psychiatric consultant and communicate resulting treatment recommendations to the patient’s medical provider. Consultations will focus on patients new to the caseload and those who are not improving as expected under the current treatment plan. Case reviews may be conducted by telephone, video, or in person.
7. Provide brief behavioral interventions using evidence-based techniques such as behavioral activation, problem-solving treatment, motivational interviewing, or other treatments as appropriate.
8. Provide or facilitate in-clinic or outside referrals to evidence-based psychosocial treatments (e.g. problem-solving treatment or behavioral activation) as clinically indicated.
9. Track patient follow up and clinical outcomes using a registry. Document in-person and telephone encounters in the registry and use the system to identify and re-engage patients. Registry functions can be accomplished through an EHR build, on a spreadsheet used in conjunction with an EHR, or can be built into a stand-alone clinical management tracking system that may or may not be linked to an EHR.
10. Document patient progress and treatment recommendations in EHR and other required systems to be shared with medical providers, psychiatric consultant, and other treating providers
11. Facilitate treatment plan changes for patients who are not improving as expected in consultation with the medical provider and the psychiatric consultant and who may need more intensive or more specialized mental health care.
12. Facilitate referrals for clinically indicated services outside of the organization (e.g., social services such as housing assistance, vocational rehabilitation, mental health specialty care, substance abuse treatment).
13. Develop and complete relapse prevention self-management plan with patients who have achieved their treatment goals and are soon to be discharged from the caseload.
TRAINING & LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS
* Master’s degree in social work (MSW) from a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or equivalent accreditation (required)
* Licensed in California Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), LCC or Psychologist (required)
* 2+ years’ experience as a social worker in a medical setting with children, youth, and families.
* Demonstrated ability to collaborate and communicate effectively in a team setting.
* Experience with screening for common mental health and/or substance abuse disorders.
* Working knowledge of differential diagnosis of common mental health and/or substance abuse disorders, when appropriate.
* Experience with assessment and treatment planning for common mental health and/or substance use disorders.
* Working knowledge of evidence-based psychosocial treatments and brief behavioral interventions for common mental health disorders, when appropriate (e.g., motivational interviewing, problem- solving treatment, behavioral activation).
* Experience with evidence-based counseling techniques