Optimizing the Role of Military Behavioral Health Technicians
Mar 1, 2022
Building on prior RAND research that found inconsistencies in how behavioral health technicians (BHTs) were integrated across the Military Health System, researchers surveyed military BHTs and licensed mental health providers who work alongside them to gain insights on BHTs' contributions, training and supervision, and job satisfaction, as well as barriers to better integrating them into clinical practice.
A Survey of Behavioral Health Technicians and Mental Health Providers
|PDF file||1.9 MB||
Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.
|Add to Cart||Paperback270 pages||$47.00||$37.60 20% Web Discount|
Behavioral health technicians (BHTs), who are enlisted service members with the technical training to work alongside licensed mental health providers (MHPs), are an important part of the Military Health System (MHS) workforce. However, each service branch has different training requirements for BHTs, making it difficult to identify common qualifications across the BHT workforce and ensure that the MHS is making the best use of their skills. Building on prior RAND research that found inconsistencies in how BHTs were integrated across the force, researchers conducted what might be the largest survey to date of BHTs and MHPs. The results provide insights on BHTs' practice patterns, training and supervisory needs, and job satisfaction, as well as barriers to better integrating BHTs into clinical practice and steps that the MHS could take to optimize BHTs' contributions to the health and readiness of the force. Posing parallel sets of questions to BHTs and MHPs allowed comparisons of these groups' perspectives on these topics. The results revealed differences in views by service branch, time in practice, deployment history, and other characteristics. The researchers drew on these findings and recommendations to identify opportunities to optimize the BHT role.
Demographic, Service, and Practice Characteristics
BHT Responsibilities and Clinical Tasks
Perceptions of BHT Proficiency
Training and Supervision
Barriers to Effective BHT Practice
Perceptions of Changes to BHT Practice
Conclusions and Recommendations
Survey Sampling and Weighting
Survey Development and Domains
This research was sponsored by PHCoE and conducted within the Forces and Resources Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD).
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.