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New electronic manual gives Behavioral Health Aides/Practitioners throughout Alaska additional support at the push of a button

July 16, 2018




Behavioral Health Aides/Practitioners (BHA/Ps) provide critical and ongoing services across Alaska, often with limited on-site resources or support. To help BHA/Ps provide behavioral health services in their uniquely Alaskan context, the Behavioral Health Aide Manual (BHAM) is now available electronically. The BHAM provides fundamental information and best practices for addressing many of the issues and concerns identified during client care visits. It is also intended as a guide for other providers who work with BHA/Ps; it will help providers to reinforce BHA/P training, reduce errors and confusion, and enhance BHA/Ps’ confidence in service and treatment planning. The BHAM was created exclusively for the ANTHC Behavioral Health Aide Program with input from Alaska Native BHA/Ps, clinical supervisors, and clinical and content experts throughout the state. The manual recommends culturally and clinically appropriate services for our Alaska Native people based on best practices tailored specifically for this Alaskan program. “Having the BHAM as an electronic document means that we can more easily and quickly update the contents and ensure that BHAs have regular access to current information,” said Xiomara “Xio” Owens, ANTHC Director of Behavioral Health Aide Training. “Additionally, having a web-based document expands access to care because we can easily link BHAs to resources and materials that are relevant to their client’s health care.” ANTHC expects to launch the electronic BHAM (eBHAM) by the end of the month, wherein all BHAs and BHA supervisors will have unique user profiles that allow them to access the eBHAM and personalize it using functions such as highlighting, commenting and bookmark tools. All BHAs and BHA supervisors should anticipate receiving an email with their access information. Community members can anticipate receiving services that are informed by the BHA use of the eBHAM. The first phase of launching the eBHAM included completing a two-day eBHAM super user training in June. The super users are pairs of clinicians and BHAs from Tribal health organizations who have become experts in the use and application of the BHAM for their region. BHA/Ps are employed by regional Tribal health organizations and work in diverse settings throughout Alaska. It is important for BHA/Ps to work closely with their clinical supervisors to understand how the BHAM can be applied to their scope of practice, organizational procedures, geographical location, and availability of local resources. If you’d like to learn more about the ANTHC Behavioral Health Aide Program, visit https://anthc.org/behavioral-health-aide-program/ Related story: Partnership with Iļisaġvik College gives Behavioral Health Aides more opportunity to support Alaska Native communities

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