What is Integrated Behavioral Health?
As licensed professionals, the Integrated Care Specialists (ICS) at NEPA Community Health Care are an important part of your health care team. They assist patients coping with chronic illnesses and life stressors, as well as provide support for patients requiring behavioral health treatment. ICS services can help you understand and manage your physical, mental and emotional health!
How do I access Integrated Behavioral Health services at NEPA Community Health Care?
If you already receive primary care services at NEPA Community Health Care, you can request to see an Integrated Care Specialist (ICS) when you come to your medical appointment. During your visit, your primary care provider may also ask a Specialist to meet with you. The consultation usually takes about 20 minutes on the same day you meet with your primary care provider.
How is this different than the services already in the community?
Many behavioral health agencies use a traditional model of care wherein the client comes for weekly therapy sessions with a counselor and may see a psychiatrist for medications. Integrated behavioral health visits are usually at the end of each primary care visit.
In some cases, such as when the primary care provider (PCP) is prescribing medication, there may be some follow-ups with the Integrated Care Specialist (ICS) alone. The ICS and PCP may also recommend that you see one of NEPA Community Health Care’s psychiatric providers. You can see the ICS when you come to see your PCP even if you are seeing a therapist or counselor at another behavioral health agency.
What costs are involved for Behavioral Health services at NEPA Community Health Care?
There are currently two types of Integrated Care Specialist (ICS) appointments. One is when you see the Specialist the same day you see your primary care provider. There are also situations in which the ICS recommends you return in one or two weeks to explore your progress with treatment goals.
For visits where you only see the ICS, there will be a co-pay (usually the same amount as you would pay for a medical visit). These follow-up visits are available on a walk-in basis when the ICS is available. However, to meet the unique needs of the community, appointments may also be available.
Sometimes life hands us problems we can’t handle alone. NEPA Community Health Care is dedicated to helping patients achieve the balance, health and well-being necessary to effectively deal with mental and emotional challenges. We take a holistic approach to care, which focuses on each person having a healthy mind and body!
In combining our primary care and behavioral health expertise, every patient receives a complete diagnosis, the most effective treatment and the necessary follow-up. We offer an initial behavioral health assessment, brief counseling services and referrals to outpatient providers when needed. Licensed Clinical Social Workers serving as Integrated Care Specialists (ICS) are on hand while you are here for your medical visit or patients can also arrange to see a therapist by simply walking in or calling for a same-day appointment.
Common Reasons to Seek Care:
- Grief Counseling
- Eating Disorders
- Family and Parenting Counseling
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Impulse Control Disorders
Is there a difference between mental and behavioral health?
Yes, there is a difference between the two terms. Mental health is defined as the emotional, psychological and social well-being of a person, impacting how you think, feel and act. Behavioral health focuses on a person’s habits and how those habits impact a person’s overall mental and physical health.
Since the two are closely related, mental health services are often provided in conjunction with behavioral health counseling by a therapist.
How do I know if I should see a psychiatric provider or a therapist?
If your mental health is preventing you from working, engaging with family and friends, or is simply interfering with your day to day functions, you should consider seeking care from a psychiatric provider.
It’s important to express these feelings to your primary care provider, who can refer you to one of NEPA Community Health Care’s psychiatric providers.
What should I expect when I come in for a mental health visit?
Patients coming in to see a mental health provider should know that initial visits may last up to an hour. It’s important for the provider to ask lots of questions related to your emotional well-being and daily functions to better understand your needs and develop a care plan that is unique to you.
Do you treat patients of all ages?
Yes, our psychiatric providers treat patients across the lifespan.
Can I see my primary care provider on the same day?
In most cases, yes. Every primary care provider has at least two appointment slots reserved in their daily schedules for same-day visits. Although these slots are filled on a “first come, first served” basis, our staff will do everything they can to fit you into the schedule and meet your care needs.
Whether medical doctors or nurse practitioners, psychiatric providers are licensed clinicians who possess the expertise and ability to prescribe medication. As such, they spend a great deal of time with patients on medication management as a course of treatment for mental and emotional health concerns.
At NEPA Community Health Care, your mental health is just as important to us as your physical health. In fact, one will almost always impact the other. That’s why we offer primary care, mental and behavioral health services all under the same roof and try to make it as easy as possible for you to receive comprehensive, whole-person care!
Common Reasons to Seek Care:
- Mood Disorders
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)