Primary Care Behavioral Health Program

what is primary care behavioral Health?

Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) is a movement in the healthcare system focused on the integration of behavioral health and physical health as a core component of primary care services. It is an emerging and rapidly expanding area of practice that cuts across numerous healthcare and behavioral health professions. It is focused on addressing the whole person including physical, behavioral, and social determinants of health.

primary care behavioral Health at unh

The Primary Care Behavioral Health Training Program (PCBH) is a specialized area of focus for graduate level students in the College of Health and Human Services. It includes a series of courses and a clinical internship in practice settings focused on the integration of physical and behavioral health. The program is implemented through the departments of social work and occupational therapy, in partnership with UNH’s Institute on Disability and Institute for Health Policy and Practice. Its purpose is to increase the workforce in integrated primary care settings in New Hampshire and beyond.

The Primary Care Behavioral Health Training Program (PCBH) is funded by a $1.9 million Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), Behavioral Health Workforce and Education Training Grant (BHWET). Its purpose is to increase the workforce shortage in integrated primary care settings in New Hampshire and beyond. The program is implemented through the departments of social work and occupational therapy, in partnership with UNH’s Institute on Disability and Institute for Health Policy and Practice.

The Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) training program is designed to develop students’ knowledge and skills in primary care behavioral health through a combination of course work and clinical training in an integrated primary care practice setting. All elements of the program use an interprofessional teaching approach in which occupational therapy, social work, and students from other fields work together on a variety of clinical and programmatic projects.

The Primary Care Behavioral Health Training Program Offers:

  • Training opportunities for students focused on the intersection of behavioral health and healthcare including coursework, seminars, field experiences, and interprofessional education (IPE) and practice.
  • Training opportunities for field supervisors and agencies working on practice transformation to improve integrated care.
  • Training opportunities for UNH faculty and staff to advance efforts to prepare students for a changing healthcare landscape that is integrated and interprofessional.

The PCBH Training Program is open to master's level students from social work, occupational therapy, and other master’s level programs. The PCBH Training Program includes coursework and field experiences outlined below. Individual courses are open to all master’s level students as electives.

Coursework:

  • Pre-course self-guided modules and virtual orientation sessions (Spring) 
  • PCBH I: Introduction to primary care behavioral health (Summer) 
  • PCBH II: Seminar in primary care behavioral health (Fall)

Internship:
Students are placed in integrated primary care and other settings that conform to each program's requirements for their final year placement. 

  • Occupational therapy students choose either an extended Level IIB fieldwork (April-September) or a part-time placement staring the summer after completing Level IIB fieldwork (July-December). 
  • Social work students are placed in standard second-year MSW placements corresponding to their program option start and end dates.

Who Can Apply?
Occupational therapy master's students entering the final year of their program are eligible to apply. Social work master's students who will be entering their final placement from any program option including Durham, Manchester, Advanced Standing, and the Online program are eligible to apply. Part-time students are eligible to apply. Students apply during their 1st year.

Award*:
Students will receive a stipend of $10,000 to cover the costs of educational, travel, and living expenses associated with the program. 
*Nursing, MFT, and other human services master’s students are welcome to participate; however, they are not eligible for stipends and would have to secure an internship that conforms to their own programs requirements.

Questions:
For questions about the social work program, contact Will Lusenhop rwilliam.lusenhop@unh.edu. For questions about the occupational therapy program, contact Alexa Trolley-Hanson alexa.trolley-hanson@unh.edu

Are you interested in hosting a UNH master’s level student? Students bring positive energy, novel ideas, and make significant contributions to community organizations. They are a core component of the “learning organization”. 

We are looking for primary care and behavioral health organizations working on the integration of physical and behavioral health care services. We are interested in organizations that are more advanced in their integration efforts as well as those just beginning this process. 

PCBH students come with a solid foundation of clinical, research, and policy skills in their respective fields. They can provide mental health assessments, brief interventions, and group facilitation across a range of populations and behavioral health conditions. Our students come ready to help with integration efforts including participation on interorganizational teams, conducting needs assessments at the community and agency level, working on patient flow and IT projects, and any other projects that would help advance your integration strategies. 

Benefits for Providers ​​​​​

  • Student work from 16-24 hours a week over 6-month (OT) and 9 month (SW) internships. 
  • Free CEU supervisor trainings that qualify toward the Social Work, NH supervision certificate .
  • Open invitation to the UNH Institute for Health Policy and Practice, Citizens Health Initiative, Learning Collaborative, which trains and supports behavioral health care organizations together around the integration of physical and behavioral health services. 
  • Access to UNH faculty and students for current research and policy current policy and on PCBH. 
  • Opportunity to help shape the PCBH program as it further develops to respond to NH’s unique integration needs. 

What Does Hosting a Student Involve? 
Students generally need a licensed professional from their own profession to serve as a site supervisor. Supervisors orient, monitor, and provide clinical supervision to students throughout the internship experience. Representatives from UNH will make two site visits to support the supervisor and student in the training process. In some instances, we are able to accommodate situations where licensed professionals from other fields can serve as site supervisors. 

  • Social work students spend 24 hours per week over a period of 9 months at your site. Start times for social work students include the traditional September through May time period as well as 9-month internships that start in March, June, and October through our Online program. 
  • Occupational therapy students complete their internships in two ways. The first option begins in April and runs the end of September for 16-24 hours per week, depending on the type of internship arranged. A second option runs 16 hour per week from July through December. 

If you are interested in learning more about the UNH PCBH program, please contact Will Lusenhop (SW) at rwilliam.lusenhop@unh.edu, or Alexa Trolley-Hanson (OT) at alexa.trolley-hanson@unh.edu.