Behavioral Health Training Program at UMass Medical School

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

We are thrilled to announce that Jack Coughlin, RN, founder of PsychCoverage, Inc. has recently been accepted into the Certificate Program in Primary Behavioral Health Care at UMass Medical School. Congratulations, Jack!

The program is designed to “prepare mental health professionals for success as primary care behavioral health clinicians.” Over a period of three months, certificate participants will meet at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (or through their Adobe Connect distance based learning program) for six full-day workshops. The program is taught by primary care behavioral health clinicians and primary care physicians from the Department of Family Medicine and Community health at UMass Medical School and provides actual or virtual discussion and role play for enhanced learning. At the completion of the program, mental health professionals will be better able to provide their services in a primary medical care setting, an achievement that will surely help mental health patients who do not have access to specialized psychiatric professionals.

One of the goals of PsychCoverage is to be able to better prepare primary care doctors to handle the intricacies of mental health patients, and to be a resource for primary care physicians in the same way that they are a resource for psychiatrists. Primary care doctors experience the same types of professional burnout that psychiatrists do, and as general practitioners many physicians and clinicians are less able to diagnose and treat patients with mental illness. At the very least, many mental health patients seeing a GP do not receive the same level of care that they would with a psychiatrist or other mental health specialist. For both the patients’ and physicians’ sakes, PsychCoverage feels it’s important to work on this type of integration between the two medical fields.