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BHOP helps address mental health related issues

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt Benjamin Sutton
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly half of people with a treatable behavioral health disorder do not seek help from behavioral health professionals.

The KAB Behavioral Health Optimization Program seeks to bridge this gap by providing behavioral health care in a primary care setting.

“BHOP services are available within the family health care clinic to assist with optimizing your overall health and is available to all 18th Medical Group beneficiaries including active duty, their dependents/families, and retirees,” said Maj. Laura M. Boylan, 18th MDG BHOP element chief. “The initial BHOP appointment lasts about 20-30 minutes with follow-ups lasting about 15-30 minutes.”

According to Boylan, the BHOP team includes a patient’s primary care manager, an Internal Behavioral Health Consultant, and can include a Behavioral Health Care Facilitator. The IBHC is a specialized trained psychologist or social worker who assists patients and their PCM team focus on barriers that may interfere with their current functioning.

“IBHCs are trained to help patients and the care team focus on behavior change versus traditional psychotherapy,” said Boylan. “The IBHCs provide recommendations to patients and their PCM team and if a patient requires a specialty care referral we can help with that as well.”

The BHCF is a registered nurse with specialized training providing supportive collaborative care for patients diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety, and/or PTSD.

“Most behavioral health care facilitator appointments are conducted over the phone,” Boylan continued. “Our team can offer assistance with habits, behaviors, or emotional concerns beginning to interfere with daily life. We can also assist with other issues like pain, headaches, sleep issues, issues with concentration, asthma, smoking, weight loss, diabetes, or heart disease.”

These issues can compound stress and can lead to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or general anxiety disorders. Often times, problems resulting in adverse mental health effects can be addressed by primary care providers through the support of behavioral health services.

“Seeking help early is highly recommended,” Boylan stated. “As a team, we assist people with improving their overall quality of life. When patients use our services as their first stop for their emotional and mental health needs they provide themselves the opportunity to prevent conditions all together or prevent them from becoming worse.”  

The goal of the BHOP clinic is to help patients and providers reach desired and realistic health outcomes.

“Many people express concern about coming in to see behavior health of any kind due to the fear it may impact their profession,” said Mr. Ernesto Caraveo, 18th MDG clinical psychologist with the BHOP clinic. “It has been my experience working in the military system for almost 10 years that seeking help has little to no effect on most people’s careers. It really tends to harm people’s careers when they don’t come and see us and things in their lives get worse to a level they can no longer manage on their own.”

A person interested in BHOP services can speak with their PCM and get referred to BHOP, often patients can be seen the same day, or they can call the appointment line to schedule a BHOP appt.  

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” said Caraveo. “We are here to help people get back on track rather than doing something negative that can ultimately affect their career or personal life in a significant negative way.”

For more information about the BHOP clinic or the KAB mental health flight visit