Navy Seaman David Vargas, left, a behavioral health technician, conducts a block design test on a patient to assess functioning of the parietal and frontal lobes at Naval Hospital Jacksonville in Florida, Feb. 1, 2017. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel

Optimizing the Role of Military Behavioral Health Technicians

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 is conducting a survey of BHTs and mental health providers on the roles of BHTs in the Military Health System.

This study will:

  • Describe the training and role of BHTs in the MHS
  • Identify barriers and facilitators to effectively integrating BHTs into care delivery
  • Develop 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 is surveying both BHTs and mental health providers to understand how BHT skills are applied within the MHS. Understanding their current roles throughout the MHS will help identify opportunities for improvement. In this way, these surveys will provide insight into BHT training and capabilities, as well as how their roles can be maximized to provide high quality mental health care.

This survey is supported by the Department of Defense’s Behavioral Health Technician Work Group, as stated in the Letter of Support (PDF).

Take the Online Survey

To learn more about the roles and perceptions of BHTs in the MHS, both behavioral health technicians and mental health providers are being recruited.

Click the button below that applies to your role within the MHS to access the survey:


A random sample of BHTs and providers have been invited to participate. If you were selected, you received an invitation that includes a unique study ID. You will need this unique study ID to begin the survey.

2016 Military Behavioral Health Survey

Did you participate in the 2016 survey of military behavioral health providers? Thank you for your participation.

Learn More About the Results