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PHCoE Clinician Resources

Through the Psychological Health Center of Excellence (PHCoE), the Department of Defense (DOD) promotes the use of evidence-based treatment for mental health disorders and other conditions.

Clinical Practice Guidelines and Clinical Support Tools

Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) are defined by the Institute of Medicine as: "…systematically developed statements to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate health care services for specific clinical circumstances." Since 1988, DOD and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have worked together — as the VA/DOD Evidence-based Practice Working Group — to adapt internationally recognized CPGs to meet the requirements of the military and veterans’ health care systems. DOD has made it a priority to implement evidence-based CPGs as a means of improving and standardizing the quality of care provided to beneficiaries.

As supplemental materials to promote compliance with the CPGs, PHCoE develops tools that bring together important resources for providers, patients, and family members. This section of the website offers an overview of these clinical support tools, which are available for download.

Clinical Conditions and Special Populations

This section of the website also includes information for clinicians about select mental health conditions experienced by service members, including screening protocols, treatment options, and DoD policies that providers should be aware of. Conditions discussed include depression, PTSD, alcohol misuse, and opioid misuse. Suicide risk, although not a clinical diagnosis, includes thoughts and behaviors that tend to cut across multiple diagnostic categories and may affect individuals of all ages, ranks, races, and education levels.

This clinician resources section also provides important information that can help clinicians serving patients whose characteristics and experiences, such as sexual assault or sexual harassment, have implications for successful mental health treatment. For example, the military experiences of women and their responses to those experiences are distinct from those of their male counterparts and may influence women’s mental health.

Behavioral Health Technicians

PHCoE also works to support mental health providers by improving clinical operations through the utilization of behavioral health technicians (BHTs) in the military. BHTs — also called mental health technicians, psychiatric technicians, or behavioral health specialists — are enlisted service members who fulfill a wide range of tasks to support mental health providers. When used effectively, BHTs serve a vital role in enhancing clinic efficacy and efficiency and improving direct patient care.

Provider Self-care

To support mental health clinicians, PHCoE offers information and resources on provider self-care, an important requirement for clinicians to deal with burnout, compassion fatigue, and secondary trauma. 

 

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