Behavioral Health Consultant
Certificate Course (BHC-CC)

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Format(s)

Online & In-Person

Duration

10 months

Cost

$2,000
Discounts may be available

The Behavioral Health Consultant Certificate Course (BHC-CC) is a program designed to address the existing gaps in accessing behavioral health services in primary care. BHC-CC will provide new insights, skills, and technical abilities for behavioral health professionals. Licensed professionals will learn to operate as Behavioral Health Consultants in primary care. Behavioral Health Consultants (BHCs) are core primary care team members within the Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) model.

PCBH is an integrated behavioral health model that focuses on improving the primary care teams' ability to treat and manage mental, behavioral, and physical health conditions that are common in primary care. It is a prominent approach to integrating behavioral health services into primary care settings. This trained behavioral health workforce will also learn unique skills to address existing health disparities, improve health equity, and promote health in vulnerable and historically excluded populations.

This course, developed by Mental Health America of Greater Houston,  will include a series of synchronous online learning through pre-recorded videos, virtual bi-monthly office hours, an in-person behavioral health bootcamp, and two live trainings with standardized patients.

 

Eligibility Requirements
You must be licensed under the following titles to be eligible to apply for this course:

  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT)
  • Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC)
  • Licensed Psychologists (LP)

The course begins on February 26, 2024. Apply today!

This course was made possible in part by a visionary gift from Robert and Edith Zinn.

Key Learnings

Identify the components of the integral role of a behavioral health consultant (BHC) within the Primary Care Behavioral (PCBH) model.

Discuss, identify, and apply interventions to improve teamwork and performance.

Describe the effect of health equity and health disparities on health outcomes.

Identify and utilize interventions and strategies to facilitate behavior change.

Evaluate best treatment plan based on efficacy and expert guidance.

 

Sections

Introduction to Primary Care, PCBH, Population Health and PCBH Bootcamp - Prerequisite

Dates: February 26, 2024 (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
Format: In person at Rice University’s Glasscock School of Continuing Education
Instructors: Dr. Arissa Walberg, Dr. Yajaira Johnson-Esparza, Dr. Stacy Ogbeide

Take a deep dive into the world of Primary Care Behavioral Health!

This prerequisite session will:

  • Describe the Levels of Behavioral Health Integration in Primary Care
  • Describe the primary care specialties
  • Describe the levels of prevention and population health approach
  • Describe the models of Behavioral Health Integration in primary care
  • Describe the basic tenets of the PCBH consultation model
  • Designing Clinical Pathways 
  • Understand medical terminology for primary care 
Module 1 – Introduction to the Behavioral Health Consultant Role and Competencies

Dates: March 15 - May 14, 2024
Format: Asynchronous and bi-weekly open office hours
Instructors:  Dr. Becky Scott,  Dr. Brittany Houston, Dr. Diane Dougherty, Dr. Meredith Williamson, Shandy Gonzalez, Dr. Yajaira-Esparza Johnson

Learn how a BHC operates in the primary care setting.

At the end of this session students will:

  • Understand the role of BHC in primary care 
  • Understand the competencies for a BHC
  • Explain the pathophysiology of common physical health conditions 
  • Identify components of an initial visit versus a follow-up visit
  • Conducting a behavioral Change-focused interview for the context of primary care
  • Identify and apply evidence-based, behavioral interventions common problems in primary care
  • Billing and coding for behavioral health Integration in primary care
Module 2 – Teamwork in Primary Care

Dates: May 15 - June 30, 2024
Format: Asynchronous and bi-weekly open office hours
Instructors: Dr. Becky Scott, Dr. Diane Dougherty, Dr. Arissa Walberg

I’m part of a team in primary care. Now what?

At the end of this session students will:

  • Understand the roles of the various primary care team members
  • Identify and apply interventions to improve team science and team performance in primary care
  • Identify and apply interventions to improve provider burnout in primary care
In-Person Training Lab: Standardized Patient Practice

Dates: May 18, 2024
Format: In person at University of Houston, College of Medicine
Instructors: Dr. Yajaira Johnson-Esparza, Dr. Diane Dougherty, Dr. Meredith Williamson, Dr. Brittany Houston, Shandy Gonzalez

At this session students will engage in:

  • 8-hour period clinical learning lab
  • Live trainings with standardized patients
  • Supervised by PCBH Faculty experts 
  • Co-learning with other program participants/learners.
Module 3 – Special Topics in Primary Care

Dates: July 1 - August 31, 2024
Format: Asynchronous and bi-weekly open office hours
Instructors: Dr. Arissa Walberg, Dr. Becky Scott, Dr. Diane Dougherty, Dr. Meredith Williamson

Primary care patients can be complex – how do you help patients with complex needs?

At the end of this session students will:

  • Understand the impact of Adverse Childhood Experience, Trauma and PTSD in primary care
  • Identify the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on primary care delivery 
  • Screening, Brief Interventions, and Referrals to Treatment (SBIRT)
  • Employ psychopharmacology 101 in primary care
  • Understand the basics of quality improvement within the PCBH mode
Module 4 – Health Equity and Health Disparities in Primary Care

Dates: September 1 - October 14, 2024
Format: Asynchronous and bi-weekly open office hours
Instructors: Dr. Eboni Winford

Closing the health disparities gap in primary care – how can a BHC help with this? 

At the end of this session students will:

  • Define Health Equity and Health Disparities
  • Describe the differences between implicit and explicit bias 
  • Explain the impact of systemic racism on health outcomes
Virtual Live Training: The Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) Model of Service Delivery - Core Principles and Points of Focus for Greater Impact

Date: September 12, 2024 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. CT
Format: Synchronous virtual training – attendance is mandatory
Instructor: Dr. Chris Hunter, Ph.D, ABPP

At the end of the session, students will be able to:

  • Understand the purpose, function, and foundations of primary care in the context of the overall larger health system.
  • Explain the core principles of the PCBH model of service delivery and how integrated behavioral health care can blend seamlessly with the general foundations of primary care.
  • Discuss clinical behavior changes to engage in improving patient outcome, better access to services, and high patient and team satisfaction within health care delivery.
  • Evaluate the BHC role to improve patient outcomes, access to services, high patient, team satisfaction, and articulate at least one change they will make in their service delivery over the next 3 months to achieve their goal.
Module 5 – Technology in Primary Care

Dates: October 15 - December 1, 2024
Format: Asynchronous and bi-weekly open office hours
Instructor Name: Dr. Meredith Williamson 

Primary care in the virtual world. At the end of this session students will:

  • Identify telehealth strategies to facilitate behavioral change 
  • Understand the use of technological devices in the context of primary care
  • Understand legal/ethical implications of telehealth in primary care
In-Person Training Lab: Standardized Patient Practice

Dates: December 7, 2024
Format: In person at University of Houston, College of Medicine
Instructor Name: Dr. Yajaira Johnson-Esparza, Dr. Diane Dougherty, Dr. Meredith Williamson, Dr. Brittany Houston, Shandy Gonzalez

At this session students will engage in:

  • 4-hour period clinical learning lab
  • Live trainings with standardized patients
  • Supervised by PCBH Faculty experts 
  • Co-learning with other program participants/learners.

Meet the Team

Frequently Asked Questions

You can find the answers to our frequently asked questions below. For additional questions, please contact ihci@mhahouston.org.

Can we receive financial discounts for this course?

Yes, financial discounts are available on a case-by-case basis. Please be sure to fill out the discount-specific questions embedded in the main application to be considered for a financial discount. 

How many Continuing Education Units (CEU) will be offered?

This course will provide a total of 40 CEUs.

How many in-person sessions will there be? Is it mandatory to attend all of them?

There will be three in person sessions, all of which are mandatory.

Where are the in-person sessions located?

All in-person sessions will be conducted in Houston, TX.

Can I learn this course at my own pace?

Yes, the online components of this course are self-paced and you will have approximately 2 months of access per module.

How long is this course?

This course will be approximately 10 months long, beginning in February 2024 and ending in December 2024.

Where can I access course materials?

All course materials will be available through Canvas, our online learning management system for this course. 

Do I have to live in Texas to apply for the course?

You do not have to live in Texas to apply for the course, however, you will still need to attend all three in-person sessions in Houston, Texas. You will need to make your own travel arrangements, as these will not be covered by the cost of the course.

Does this course provide credentialing?

No, it does not.

Can I apply for this course even if I do not serve or work in the priority zip codes of the Greater Houston Area?

Yes, you can apply for the course even if you do not serve our targeted zip codes.

Can I apply for the course even if I do not work in a medical setting?

Yes, you can apply to the course however, priority will be given to applicants that currently work in primary care or have expressed a desire to work in primary care after the completion of the course.

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