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Behavioral Health

Behavioral Health at NC Community Health Centers

Primary care settings have become a gateway for many individuals with behavioral health and primary care needs. To address these needs, North Carolina health centers are integrating behavioral health care services into their practice setting. Health centers provide both mental health and substance abuse services. Health centers must provide behavioral health services, either directly themselves or through agreement with another provider. In 2016, North Carolina health centers employed more than 100 full time equivalent Behavioral Health Professionals, including psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, addiction specialists, and other providers. NC health centers collectively provided nearly 100,000 behavioral health visits in 2016, a marked increase in the number of visits from the previous year. 

Behavioral health services at NC health centers will continue to grow. In 2017, HRSA awarded more $6 million to support expansion of behavioral health services in 36 NC health centers through the Access Increases in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (AIMS) supplemental funding. AIMS funding supports the expansion of access to mental health and substance abuse services focusing on the treatment, prevention, and awareness of opioid abuse. Health centers will enhance these services by increasing personnel and leveraging health information technology and training.

NC health centers are also leaders in addressing the opioid crisis. A number of health centers provide medication assisted therapy for opioid addiction, as well as counseling and other support services.


NCCHCA Behavioral Health Workgroup

NCCHCA convenes a workgroup of certified professional counselors, psychologists, family therapists and social workers to support Behavioral Health programs in NC. The Behavioral Health Workgroup meets quarterly to discuss integrated care codes, reimbursement, FQHC/RHC behavioral health services and to contribute ideas, experiences and share best practices.
Are you a community health center staff member? Sign up for the Behavioral Health Workgroup.

Behavioral Health Resources

Behavioral Health Integration

Center for Integrated Health Solutions

The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS), administered by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare under a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is funded jointly by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Health Resources Services Administration. The CIHS promotes the development of integrated primary and behavioral health services to better address the needs of individuals with mental health and substance use conditions, whether seen in specialty behavioral health or primary care provider settings. CIHS also lists various trainings and webinars.

What is Integrated Care?

A quick review of integrated primary and behavioral health care.

Standard Framework for Levels of Integrated Healthcare

CIHS’ Standard Framework for Levels of Integrated Healthcare helps primary and behavioral healthcare provider organizations improve outcomes by helping them understand where they are on the integration continuum.

Center of Excellence for Integrated Care

Using evidence based approaches customized to fit local needs, NC-based COE serves as a resource for assessment, training, and technical assistance to a variety of organizations. Currently they work with over 30 sites and programs such as primary care offices, clinics and hospitals, community collaboratives, school-based health centers, and local government organizations.

Behavioral Health Performance Measures

Depression Screening and Follow-up: This performance measure requires health centers to report the number of patients age 12 and older screened for depression and receiving a follow-up plan (if diagnosed).
Screening Tools for Depression
Screening Tools for Behavioral Health Disorders by Age Group

Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment: Health centers annually report this performance measure, as well as other substance abuse counseling and treatment services. SBIRT identifies, reduces, and prevents substance abuse.
Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment
What is Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment

Substance Use

Governor’s Institute
The Governor’s Institute provides innovative professional education, workforce development, networking opportunities and other collaborations among research and educational programs, professional organizations, clinics and hospitals, treatment facilities, consumer groups and the substance use disorder field.

Substance Use Warmline

Free, peer-to-peer telephone consultation from physicians, clinical pharmacists, and nurses with special expertise in mental health and substance use evaluation and management.

Other Resources

Are you looking for Behavioral Health Services? Find the NC health center nearest you here.
Are you a mental health professional looking for employment at NC health centers? Check out our jobs board.

more Events and Training

4/11/2019 » 4/12/2019
2019 Clinical Conference on Quality and Chronic Disease

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