What Does a Behavioral Health Care Coordinator Do?

A behavioral health care coordinator is an integral member of a patient’s care team. Not only do they help protect the interests of the patient, but they work closely with other health care professionals to ensure that the best resources are being used to help the patient get better.

What is behavioral health care?

Behavioral health care is the care provided to patients to promote mental well-being, including dealing with behavioral, mental, and addictive disorders. It is an important component of health, especially since behavioral health problems can lead to physical health problems. For example, depression can cause headaches, fatigue, and chronic pain, among other things. In order to promote overall health, behavioral health care must be addressed in a patient’s life.

When providing care for behavioral health, a patient typically has several care professionals on his or her care team. Each person on the team has a different function, and they all work together to provide comprehensive care for a patient. One important team member is the behavioral health care coordinator.

What is a care coordinator?

A care coordinator is a member of a patient’s care team who works cooperatively with other primary care providers to ensure that the behavioral health provided meets the patient’s needs. In the simplest explanation, a care coordinator for behavioral health is a liaison between the patient and other health care team members to make sure that the treatment plan put in place by the care team is working effectively for all involved. Care coordinators work in a variety of health care settings for behavioral health needs, including rehabilitation centers, drug treatment facilities, out-patient clinics, hospitals, and even in home health care.

What does a care coordinator do?

Though the primary role of a care coordinator for behavioral health is as a liaison between the patient and the interdisciplinary care team, there is more to the job than that. Some key responsibilities include:

  • creating behavioral health goals for the patient
  • developing a treatment plan with other care team members
  • assessing and screening patients
  • helping patients reach out to community resources
  • coordinating the care with other interdisciplinary care team members

In other words, the care coordinator works to make sure everyone is on the same page so that the patient can get the best care possible. In behavioral health, the care coordinator focuses on the care provided to the client that focuses on behavioral, mental, and addictive health.

How can I become a care coordinator in behavioral health?

The requirements for a care coordinator in behavioral health varies based on state regulations and facilities doing the hiring. Typically, individuals are required to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in a health-related field, and field experience related to care coordination. Many care coordinators have backgrounds in social work, as well. Care coordinators have similar duties to social workers, so this background can be helpful.

A behavioral health care team works together to help a patient get healthier. Since each team member has their own roles, a behavioral health care coordinator works with everyone on the team, as well as the patient, to make sure that the treatment plan is effective and the patient’s needs are met.

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