Posted by Beth Schwinn, DCoE Public Affairs on January 16, 2015
A mental health specialist provides triage to a soldier during a behavioral health assessment. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Calvert)
When Frances stepped on the scale at her primary care visit, she had gained more than 10 pounds. She was under a lot of stress, she told the physician assistant.
The response was immediate: A new member of the primary care team could help Frances with a plan for coping with stress. Minutes later, she was sitting down with internal behavioral health consultant Erica Jarrett. Six months later, not only was Frances less stressed, but she’d also lost the extra weight.
Frances (not her real name) is benefiting from the Military Health System’s decision to integrate an internal behavioral health consultant (IBHC) -- either a psychologist or a licensed clinical social worker -- into the primary care team. For the military, the goal is healthier, fitter service members.