The Behavioral Healthcare Navigation course explores care coordination and navigation for populations with behavioral health needs.  An overview of behavioral health systems, eligibility, and access issues are presented.  Topics include individual and family centered service coordination, response to acute behavioral health situations, work with interdisciplinary team, access to behavioral health resources, and interventions and referral.

Course Goals

  • Implement or improve upon the coordination and navigation of behavioral health services.
  • To summarize the Washington State Health Care System to cross reference services available with behavioral health and physical health agencies and service providers.
  • To promote seamless care across systems to improve or implement navigation services to bring about optimum care outcomes for behavioral health clients.

Course Outcomes

  • Define behavioral health navigation for working with individuals and families.
  • Describe current systems and referral processes of behavioral health services (e.g., mental health, chemical dependency, primary care, domestic violence, suicide, and trauma).
  • Identify needs of specific behavioral health populations (e.g., children, older adults, and culturally specific communities).
  • Identify behavioral health literacy needs for individuals and communities.
  • Engage interdisciplinary, primary care, and behavioral health team members in the coordination of intervention and care.
  • Identify risk factors and signs of addiction and /or mental illness, in order to facilitate early detection, intervention, and referral.

Course Topic Outline

Lesson 1 Overview of Behavioral Health

Lesson 2 Instruction to the Mental Health Care System

Lesson 3 Introduction to the Substance Use Disorder Treatment System

Lesson 4 Special Considerations

Lesson 5 Navigation as a System Approach


Textbook Description

This online textbook can be used as a resource for the Behavioral Health Navigation hybrid course and can also be a resource to professionals interested in the topic of care navigation and coordination in the behavioral health field. The online textbook is a hub of required and optional readings for students to gain an in depth understanding of behavioral health and navigation topics. Additional online resources will be present for students to explore these topics further. This textbook can be a flexible tool for instructors to edit and tailor to meet the needs of their course, students, and evolving trends in care.


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Behavioral Healthcare Navigation by Whatcom Community College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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