Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center now has an embedded behavioral health clinic in all four of Fort Hood’s brigade combat teams, each caring for an average of 600 soldiers a month.
During an open house Thursday for the clinics, Brig. Gen. Joseph Martin, deputy commander of maneuver for the 1st Cavalry Division, joked the clinics are so embedded in the units, his driver couldn’t drop him off at the door.
As a captain and battalion commander, Martin said he would refer soldiers in need of behavioral health services to a place whose location he was not familiar with.
“In essence, access to a previously remote capability ... is everywhere now,” he said. “We’re filling many gaps with this.”
The embedded clinics provide an early intervention and treatment model that promotes soldier readiness, according to a news release.
It significantly improves access to behavioral health care for active-duty soldiers, while also improving the communication between behavioral health professionals and line leaders.
Darnall expects to grow from the four currently operating clinics, to 11, based on the post’s current population, said Col. Patricia Darnauer, hospital commander. The fifth clinic is expected to open by the end of this fiscal year.
“We’re coming together to take care of patients and to reduce the stigma,” she said. “All the clinics have been successful in part to reduce the stigma.”
Services range from outpatient behavioral health services, group sessions and individual treatment, Darnauer said.
Dr. Adam Borah, Darnall’s chief of hospital-based behavioral health services, said he agrees the embedded clinics have been an effective way to deliver care.
The most commonly treated disorders are insomnia and mood or anxiety, he said.
“When we talk about any organization, and what it takes to make them incredible ... it’s the people who work for them,” Borah said.
“They are particular people who chose to work for the Army. They see this as a worthwhile mission and a mission to have pride in.”