Skip to main content

Military Health System

METC trains BHT students in full range of mental health support

Image of Two servicemembers talking at a table. Air Force Airman Frederick Hall, (right) a student in the METC Behavioral Health Technician program, conducts a mock counseling session with Navy Seaman Chery Gonzales–Polanco, (left), a student acting as a patient in the simulation. (Photo by Lisa Braun, Medical Education and Training Campus Public Affairs)

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Education & Training | Medical Education and Training Campus

Millions of people in the U.S. are affected by mental illness each year.

While mental health issues are not uncommon, it is important to remove the stigma so those suffering and those around them will feel empowered to seek help.

Mental Health Awareness Month brings into focus awareness of and support for mental illness. Military mental health professionals provide a critical role in behavioral health care for service members and beneficiaries. The first provider a patient may see when seeking help is the behavioral health technician (BHT).

BHTs perform a wide range of tasks that support mental health providers in their treatment of patients with mental illness or developmental disability. BHTs also work directly with patients to include observing, treating and interacting with them.

Like their civilian counterparts, military BHTs perform a vital, front-line function in all healthcare settings. They are trained to conduct behavioral health screenings and assessments, deliver psychosocial interventions and case management services, and provide prevention and resilience services.

Army, Navy and Air Force BHTs are trained in the Behavioral Health Technician program located at the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in Texas. BHT students receive up to 17 weeks of training in a full range of behavioral health capacities. 

“We begin with teaching the students all they need to know regarding ethics and their duties as well as a brief overview of human anatomy and physiology with emphasis on the makeup and workings of the brain,” stated Army Staff Sgt. Miranda Hayes, METC BHT program instructor.

“We move into a lengthy instruction regarding all the diagnoses they may encounter from the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition) as well as how to treat different disorders,” she added.

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Ebiye Osadare, also a METC BHT program instructor, said that they also cover subjects like history, environment, and circumstances that may produce stressors that can lead to some mental health disorders.

“We discuss the actual diagnostic criteria and specifiers to look at or consider when trying to make a diagnostic impression. We also have the students do case studies, watch videos as well as doing other interactive activities to properly understand each diagnostic group and treatment modalities or options for each disorder,” she explained. 

In addition, Hayes said that students are trained in collecting and recording of psychosocial and physical data from intake interviews and counseling sessions; assisting patients with activities of daily living; conducting group counseling sessions; the observation of medication side effects and behavioral changes; and providing educational presentations to patients on coping skills, medication adherence, and suicide prevention.

The training culminates with the students providing supervised patient care in inpatient and outpatient settings, gaining valuable hands-on experience prior to graduation.

Navy Seaman Chery Gonzales-Polanco, a student, said that she likes learning about why people act the way that they do and that even if people think differently it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is an issue.

“We should be more open minded that not everyone is happy or sad all that time but be more conscious about it,” said Gonzales-Polanco

“I feel this job has a large impact on mission readiness and saves lives even if not in the “traditional” sense,” said Hayes. “I enjoy instructing future BHTs for many reasons. However, at the top of my list would be that I am able to make an impact on the quality of technicians that we are sending out into the operational and clinical settings.”

Osadare said she finds satisfaction as a BHT because she likes to talk to people and offer support. “I am passionate about reducing the stigma when it comes to mental health and encouraging people to seek help if they need it and for many different needs,” she stated. 

“It’s important to understand that we are all human and all go through things, but we all have different ways of processing them.”

You also may be interested in...

PTSD Awareness Month - Treatment Works

Infographic
6/1/2022
PTSD Awareness Month - Treatment Works

Experiencing #PTSD can make one feel hopeless. Fortunately, there are strategies and treatments that WORK to relieve PTSD symptoms. Don’t wait, seek help today. #PTSDAwarenessMonth www.health.mil/ptsd

Recommended Content:

June | Total Force Fitness | Psychological Fitness | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD Awareness Month - PTSD Awareness

Infographic
6/1/2022
PTSD Awareness Month - PTSD Awareness

Unfortunately, experiencing trauma is not uncommon. If you’ve experienced trauma and notice symptoms of #PTSD, don’t hesitate to ask your primary care provider about possible treatment. #TreatmentWorks #PTSDAwarenessMonth www.health.mil/ptsd

Recommended Content:

June | Total Force Fitness | Psychological Fitness | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD Awareness Month

Infographic
6/1/2022
PTSD Awareness Month

June is #PTSDAwarenessMonth Just because you cannot see a wound doesn’t mean it isn’t there. If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD, seek help immediately. www.health.mil/ptsd

Recommended Content:

June | Psychological Fitness | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Learning How to 'Stop the Bleed'

Article
5/27/2022
Training students how to pack an injury

In San Antonio, there is an ongoing effort to train as many people as possible on how to control bleeding to increase the chances for victim survival.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Emergency Preparedness and Response | Civil Support | Education & Training

Mental Health Awareness Month highlights resources available for those in need

Article Around MHS
5/27/2022
Military personnel with counselor

As May concludes Mental Health Awareness Month, it serves as a reminder that taking care of your Mental Health year-round is vital to maintaining personal health, and mission readiness. 

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

Managing Burnout

Video
5/19/2022
Managing Burnout

Burnout is really a state of extreme exhaustion caused by chronic overwhelming stress. Lt. Col. Catherine Callendar, Air Force Deputy Director of Psychological Health, gives some advice on coping with burnout. Learn more at health.mil/mentalhealth.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Psychological Fitness

Together for Mental Health: May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Article
5/13/2022
Every May is Mental Health Month. If you know someone in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line: 800-273-8255. (Photo: MHS Communications)

Health is wealth, especially when dealing with mental well-being. Growing up, kids are taught if they are hurt physically in any area, to seek help. The same should go for anyone’s mental health.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Psychological Fitness

Fort Riley Summit Tackles Mental Healthcare Shortage

Article Around MHS
5/6/2022
Soldier speaks at podium

Dozen of civilian partners within the local TRICARE network recently collaborated with Fort Riley leadership for an all-day, first-time ever Mental Health Summit April 28. 

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

MHS Minute | April 2022

Video
5/3/2022
MHS Minute | April 2022

The MHS Minute highlights some of the outstanding work taking place across the Military Health System, including major milestones, events, notable activities, and much more. Help us get the word out about all of the unique, meaningful, and fascinating work taking place across the MHS by watching and sharing the video, which you can download from DVIDs: https://go.usa.gov/xuy7M. This month’s topic is mental health awareness. Check out the entire playlist: https://go.usa.gov/xtAAq

Recommended Content:

Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Psychological Fitness

Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Current Events

Article
4/29/2022
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Rocio Romo, public affairs specialist at Space Launch Delta 30, spends quality time with her son at Cocheo Park on Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. We celebrate Month of the Military Child in April to celebrate military children whose parents serve the United States. (Photo: U.S. Space Force Airman 1st Class Kadielle Shaw)

Parents can help reassure children who are troubled by news events they see on TV and social media.

Recommended Content:

Month of the Military Child - Celebrating Military Kids | Children's Health | Psychological Fitness

Helping Your Child to Cope with Grief and Losses Related to COVID-19

Article
4/28/2022
Shirley Lanham Elementary School students perform Taiko drumming during a Month of the Military Child celebration aboard the Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, April 6, 2022. (Photo: Petty Officer 2nd Class Ange-Olivier Clement, Naval Air Facility Atsugi)

Many military children have lost loved ones to COVID-19. How parents can help with the grief.

Recommended Content:

Month of the Military Child - Celebrating Military Kids | Children's Health | Psychological Fitness | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

How to Help Military Children Reconnect After Two Years of the Pandemic

Article
4/25/2022
Airman 1st Class Rocio Romo, Space Launch Delta 30 public affairs specialist, and her son pose for a photo at Cocheo Park on Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, March 25, 2022. During the month of April, we celebrate Month of the Military Child to highlight the sacrifices military children make on the home front while their parents serve the United States. (Photo: Airman Kadielle Shaw, Space Launch Delta 30 Public Affairs)

How parents can help children stressed by more than two years of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Month of the Military Child - Celebrating Military Kids | Children's Health | Psychological Fitness | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Resources Provide Help: You Are Not Alone

Article
4/22/2022
Military personnel posing for a picture

Life is full of ups and downs. But sometimes life events—financial strain, relationships, isolation, emotional or sexual abuse, stress, and misuse or abuse of alcohol or drugs—can lead to depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide for some. It’s important to remember that you are not alone.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Suicide Prevention | Suicide Prevention | Psychological Fitness

How my sexual assault shaped me but did not break me

Article Around MHS
4/18/2022
Air Force Staff Sgt. Kayla White

Joining the military was an intense, transformational experience filled with rites of passage, experiences designed to prepare me to act as a member of a team and conform so I could truly commit to something bigger than myself. One unexpected and devastating experience during my initial training changed me forever.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention

SAFE Option Provides Care for Victims of Sexual Violence

Article
4/14/2022
(From left) Evangeline Barefoot, Blanchfield Army Community Hospital Forensic Healthcare program manager shows Dr. Cynthia Tara Ferguson, Defense Health Agency Forensic Healthcare program director, protocols BACH follows for patients who come to the hospital after experiencing sexual violence. Barefoot said some victims may avoid medical treatment because they don’t want to report an assault, however seeking medical treatment does not obligate a service member to file an investigation or notify their command. (Photo: Maria Christina Yager)

A special medical exam, called a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination, SAFE, is available to survivors of sexual violence preserves lasting evidence that may aid in the prosecution of a perpetrator of sexual assault.

Recommended Content:

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention | Psychological Fitness | Women's Health
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 76 - 90 Page 6 of 14
Refine your search
Last Updated: January 17, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery