School Behavioral Health Team tests its expertise in the community

| February 10, 2012 | 0 Comments

Team partners with Queens to test care model at off-post school

Stephanie Bryant
Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs



HONOLULU — Since 2008, the School Behavioral Health Team from Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Services, here, has been providing a comprehensive array of school-based behavioral health programs and services to support military students, families and the community.

The SBHT is comprised of a multidisciplinary team that consists of two child and adolescent psychiatrists, five social workers and two psychologists.

“(The SBHT clinicians) try to promote a social emotional health at the school,” said Dr. Stan Whitsett, clinical director, SBHT.

“We figure that, if the climate a child is spending six to eight hours a day in is healthy, then the child has a better chance of thriving.”

From its establishment, the team has supported five on-post schools on island: two on Schofield Barracks; two on Wheeler Army Airfield; and one on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay.

Whitsett said since the teams’ integration at the middle school on WAAF and the elementary school on MCBH, a 50-percent reduction has been noted in behavioral reports at those schools, which are used to document behavior issues in school.

“The last few years that we have been there, the mentality and the feeling of the schools have changed dramatically,” said Mindy Delmonico, administrative officer, SBHT.

Recently, the team has started supporting five of the island’s child development centers. The team also supports Wahiawa Elementary, a public school off post.

The SBHT has wanted to support the public, off-post schools since its origin, but because of federal regulation it hadn’t been able to make the move.

Delmonico said the reason the expansion is now possible is because Queens Medical Center, which admires the SBHT model of care, offered its support for collaboration.

Queens built a parallel team to the SBHT, and the SBHT trained the team on their model of community behavioral health. With TAMC covering Department of Defense beneficiaries and Queens supporting non-DOD children, Whitsett said the partners will be able to “provide blanket behavioral health services to any child who needs it at this elementary school.”

“Wahiawa is a trial for us,” Whitsett explained. “We are testing a clinical model of service delivery that is dependent on a partnership that has, as far as we know, never been achieved anywhere else.”

Since the beginning of the current school year, the SBHT has been building its caseload at Wahiawa Elementary, and currently each team supports about 10 children.

“I have been a clinician for close to 30 years now,” Whitsett said. “I have practiced in virtually every setting that a psychologist can practice in, and I have never seen services work as well as these do. The model works, and works well.”

The SBHT falls under the leadership of Child, Adolescent and Family Behavioral Health Offices, or CAF-BHO, of the U.S. Army. The model originated in Hawaii, at TAMC, back in the early 90s, by Dr. Michael Faran, the current director of CAF-BHO.

The SBHT community model of care is also being used at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Wash.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Meade, Md.; and Landstuhl and Bavaria Medical Department Activity, Germany.

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Category: Community, Health

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