AHTV unveils new Behavioral Health Program
Rotary Club of Tehachapi
June 19, 2021
The Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) program is the result of a $1.2 million grant AHTV received in January 2021 to develop a program to assist patients with continuing care and counseling following a visit to the emergency room.
The program has brought together a team of specialists to help patients deal with diet issues, substance abuse and behavioral health, and who can work with a patient's primary care provider. The team consists of a registered dietitian, addiction counselor, behavioral health counselor and a suicide prevention specialist. Patients can be referred directly from the ER, by a clinic provider or by self-referral. They will be screened for eligibility and then enrolled. The BHI program can be especially important in counseling diabetics who, according to AHTV, are two to three times more likely to have depression than people without diabetes.
AHTV has begun a series of community outreach events to educate the public about the program beginning with a booth at the Tehachapi Farmers Market on Thursday afternoons. They will also be launching a social media campaign, along with target audience videos. It is also planned to have a presence at school sport physicals this year.
The grant application was submitted in 2019 and approved in December of 2020. In January AHTV began to hire staff and the program was officially launched in April. By the end of April, 36 patients were enrolled and 59 by June. It is expected that with the fall school initiative, there will most likely be 100 in the program by the end of the year.
Anyone interested in receiving more information or in participating in the program can contact (661 )771-8929 so the team can determine how best to help.
The Rotary Club of Tehachapi is a volunteer service organization with the motto "Service Above Self." The club has 30 members and are currently meeting virtually on Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. If you would like more information about Rotary Club, you can visit their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/RotaryClubofTehachapi/ or contact club President Chris Naftel (661) 221-2137.