RAND researchers identified ways take to maximize behavioral health technicians' (BHTs') contributions to military health and readiness, including expanding training opportunities and providing BHTs with tools and templates for frequent tasks.
Optimizing the Role of Military Behavioral Health Technicians
CONCLUDED PROJECT - Content no longer updated
In the Military Health System (MHS), behavioral health technicians (BHTs) play an important role in supporting licensed mental health providers in evaluating and treating patients and their families. BHTs are an important part of the MHS's overall mental health workforce and receive specialized training to fulfill this role. However, their roles, and perceptions of their competencies, can vary widely.
To determine how to optimize the integration of behavioral health technicians' capabilities, the RAND Corporation conducted a survey of BHTs and mental health providers on the roles of BHTs in the Military Health System.
To do this, researchers:
- Described the training and role of BHTs in the MHS
- Identified barriers and facilitators to effectively integrating BHTs into care delivery
- Developed recommendations to improve the integration of BHT capabilities in order to improve access to and quality of mental health care provided by the MHS
This project surveyed both BHTs and mental health providers to understand how BHT skills are applied within the MHS. Understanding their current roles throughout the MHS helped identify opportunities for improvement. In this way, these surveys provided insight into BHT training and capabilities, as well as how their roles could be maximized to provide high quality mental health care.
This survey was supported by the Department of Defense’s Behavioral Health Technician Work Group, as stated in the Letter of Support (PDF). This survey received all required human subjects and regulatory approvals. The survey Report Control Symbol (RCS) license number is DD-HA-2703 (Washington Headquarters Services).
The survey was conducted June 1 to August 3, 2021, and is now closed.
Optimizing the Role of Military Behavioral Health Technicians: A Survey of Behavioral Health Technicians and Mental Health Providers 2022
RAND researchers surveyed military behavioral health technicians (BHTs) and licensed mental health providers about BHTs' contributions, training and supervision, and job satisfaction, as well as barriers to integrating them into clinical practice.
Understanding Behavioral Health Technicians Within the Military: A Review of Training, Practice, and Professional Development 2019
Are military behavioral health technicians adequately prepared for their roles? Are their skills being put to the best use? The authors examine selection, training, and responsibilities and offer recommendations to optimize training and roles.