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Behavioral Health Program

Message from Our Chief – Behavioral Health Program

The mission of the Behavioral Health Program is to develop influential leaders able to improve healthcare behaviors and outcomes by conducting methodologically rigorous research examining innovative behavioral interventions and modes of care delivery with the goal to actively disseminate and implement research findings into health care. Our investigators primarily aim to improve the effectiveness and reach of Veteran-centered, evidence-based behavioral health care in nonmental health settings. We develop and implement coordinated care-delivery models that target certain high-risk subgroups of Veterans, ie, those who have comorbid medical conditions, and those who live in rural settings and/or receive care in community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs).

Although the VHA is a national leader in integrating mental health into primary care, efforts have been largely limited to treating depression; and most patients receive mental health treatment in specialized mental health settings. Because such settings are not easily accessible to many patients, and also because many who receive care in the primary care setting could benefit from treatment for mental and behavioral health conditions associated with their comorbid physical conditions, there is a need to develop strategies to adapt and widely implement evidence-based behavioral healthcare programs in nonmental health settings. This must be complemented by care-delivery models that can be operationalized across multiple psychiatric illnesses; be applicable to Veterans with complex chronic medical illnesses; and work in a diversity of settings, including CBOCs and nonmental health specialty care.  Our investigators are leaders in behavioral health interventions for Veterans with comorbid conditions, and we are well positioned to lead the VHA in developing, coordinating and implementing novel models of behavioral healthcare across the system.

Meet our Behavioral Health Program Investigators