made them think differently about their substance use,
causing them to plan to make changes in their use of alcohol
Staff on the SBIRT team (social workers, counselors and
nurses with specialized mental health training) take time to
listen to the challenges faced by patients. "The person I spoke
with was empathetic and compassionate and listened and
understood me," commented one ED patient following an
SBIRT screening. Others have noted that SBIRT counselors
"helped me come up with a plan and ways to deal and cope
effectively" and "made it clear that they were there for me,
giving me a medical perspective on how my drinking makes
my blood pressure and diabetes worse." A willingness to
listen and the offer of support often gives patients the boost
they need to make positive changes.
INTEGRATED CARE: Karen Dorr, executive director of
Behavioral Health Services at WMC, says that evidence
indicates "integrated care" or complementing primary or
emergency care with behavioral care outreach makes more
sense as a way to reach patients and results in better outcomes.
If you have had a checkup recently, you may have already experienced
practice-based integrated care. Did your care provider
ask "have you felt depressed lately?" or "do you use drugs to
relieve stress?" If so, you have seen how seamless and natural
these discussions can be during a routine physical.
Valley Health's SBIRT team
(clockwise from back left):
Bevin Culver, LCSW; Megan
Hines, PhD; Lauren Hepler,
LCSW; Summer Jeirles, LPC,
CAADC, manager, Behavioral
Health Integration; Michelle
Kling, RN, CARN; Amanda
Hawkins, LCSW-C; and Maggi
PROGRAMS AND RESOURCES
• Valley Health Outpatient Behavioral Health I Winchester
offers group therapy for adults looking to learn healthy
coping strategies. Groups now meet online each week for
one hour. Patients are individually assessed; no referral is
necessary. Cal/ 540-536-4881 for information.
• Valley Health Senior Outpatient Behavioral Health, offered
at Shenandoah Memorial Hospital in Woodstock, focuses
on seniors experiencing psychiatric issues. With an intensive
group therapy format for those 55+, program goals include
fostering quality relationships, self-confidence and selfreliance.
Call 540-459-1505 to learn more.
• Valley Health WMC Inpatient Behavioral Health offers a safe
place to address mental health conditions with the help of
an experienced and compassionate team. Patients benefit
from an intensive treatment program tailored to their needs.
Call 540-536-8152 if someone you know might benefit from
In case of a mental health crisis:
• Dial 911.
• Go to your nearest hospital Emergency Department.
• Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at