Army’s Behavioral Health Services

 The Madigan Army Medical Center is just one of a handful of defense locations that offers all 12 behavioral health services programs in house. Lt. Col. Kevin Goke, Installation Director for Psychological Health and Chief of Behavioral Health, reports that Madigan offers a wide range of outpatient treatment processes to comprehensive inpatient care.

The program also covers programs on substance abuse treatment, provides family advocacy, child and family behavioral healthcare, and support for traumatic brain injuries. Goke explained, “Madigan offers the spectrum of care along with the hospital’s new unified EHR, MHS GENESIS, which is able to provide patients with better continuity of care.”

Embedded Behavioral Health (EBH) teams let service members’ access behavioral healthcare help right in their unit areas. This enables service members to spend less time traveling to appointments and less time away from their units.

The EBH teams offer individual or group therapy to help with combat stress, anger management, sleep, grief counseling, sexual harassment, assault support, and other behavioral health concerns   The EBHs also work to build close relationships with the command in order to keep them informed of generalized trends across the units that may include sleep, relationships, or leadership issues.

There is concern that discussing psychiatric problems may end a service member’s career. As Goke reports, “There are very few mental conditions outside of psychosis and acute safety issues that will limit careers. In fact, if patients do want more information to be shared with their command, they need to provide permissions and specifically sign a Department of Army release form.”

Service members who don’t have an EBH team in their units still are assigned to behavioral health clinics at Madigan. The Denali Behavioral Health Home serves these service members if they are not already assigned elsewhere. Today, primary care clinics also staff behavioral health consultants who work directly with other clinic staff to provide easy accessibility to their patients.

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