Behavioral health optimizes Team V

Dr. Jennifer Harris, 30th Medical Operations Squadron clinical psychologist, poses for a photo in her office where she conducts all her counseling sessions for the Behavioral Health Optimization Program, April 29, 2016, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. BHOP provides patients with a behavioral health consultant for short sessions, aimed at enhancing overall health and wellness for body, mind, and spirit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ian Dudley/Released)

Dr. Jennifer Harris, 30th Medical Operations Squadron clinical psychologist, poses for a photo in her office where she conducts all her counseling sessions for the Behavioral Health Optimization Program, April 29, 2016, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. BHOP provides patients with a behavioral health consultant for short sessions, aimed at enhancing overall health and wellness for body, mind, and spirit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ian Dudley/Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- With a multitude of stressors in the military, like deployments, being responsible for million dollar assets, or even just moving frequently from base to base, the Behavioral Health Optimization Program at the 30th Medical Group is designed to help.

BHOP reduces barriers and stigma to accessing help for common but challenging problems. Enabling Airmen and their families to address concerns more quickly.

"BHOP embeds behavioral health providers, typically psychologists or social workers, within the primary care clinic to deliver brief, behaviorally-based interventions that emphasize education, skill-building, self-management and home-based strategies," said Dr. Jennifer Harris, 30th Medical Operations Squadron clinical psychologist. "Treatment is typically limited to one through four sessions and often initiated at the request of the primary care manager, but may be requested by the patient directly."

The program addresses the needs of patients at a localized level without needing a specialist immediately. Once the initial evaluation is completed the provider deems if further treatment is necessary and refers patients to additional levels of care.

"Any beneficiary can be seen in the Primary Care clinic," said Maj. Nicole Steiner, 30th MDOS, mental health flight commander. "It is designed to be a holistic approach where all patient concerns can be addressed right in Primary Care without a patient needing to access specialty care, unless indicated."

The concerns addressed by BHOP are varied and cover everything from sleeping issues to healthy behaviors in patients with diabetes.

"I provide consultation and treatment for a wide range of presenting concerns - including, but not limited to: anger management, depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, child behavioral problems, parenting, communication, assertiveness, relationships, LGBT questions, ADHD, stress, diabetes, chronic pain, insomnia and so much more," said Harris. "BHOP also focuses on helping people reduce life-stress by promoting healthy coping strategies and behavior change."

BHOP provides patients with a behavioral health consultant for short sessions, aimed at enhancing overall health and wellness for body, mind and spirit. 

"My hope is that patients will discover that seeking professional help is a sign of strength as they choose to enlist the support of their providers for healthcare of all kinds," said Harris. "It is my personal goal as the Behavioral Health Consultant here at Vandenberg to provide patients with a sense of feeling welcomed, heard, and understood during their visits, while providing useful recommendations specifically tailored for their unique concerns."

To set up an appointment with BHOP call 805-606-2273.