Tips for Discussing Trauma During an Initial Assessment

Trauma can increase the risk of health, social, and emotional problems. Despite the high prevalence of patients with a past history of trauma, few clinics or Collaborative Care teams have a protocol for addressing it. These three tips can help clinicians safely and effectively discuss the trauma history of their patients during their initial assessment.

Relapse Prevention Plan (Generic)

The purpose of a relapse prevention plan is to help the patient understand their own personal warning signs. These warning signs are specific to each person and can help the patient identify when their mental health is declining so they can get help sooner – before the symptoms get bad.

The other purpose of a relapse prevention plan is to help remind the patient what has worked for them before to help them feel better. The relapse prevention plan should be filled out by the Behavioral Health Care Manager and the patient together.

Introducing your Care Team (Spanish)

Educating your patients about Collaborative Care and what they can expect from it is crucial to having Collaborative Care work well. Patient engagement and ownership of their care plan are key aspects of Patient-Centered Team Care, one of the five principles of Collaborative Care. Use this template to introduce your Collaborative Care team in Spanish to patients. Also available in English.

Telehealth Tips for Behavioral Health Providers

It is increasingly common for behavioral health providers to be asked to engage patients and conduct visits by videoconferencing or other HIPAA-compliant technology. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology defines synchronous telehealth visits as “two-way audiovisual link[s] between a patient and a care provider” (, 2017). This handout includes some tips for behavioral health providers to consider when conducting synchronous telehealth visits.

Note: Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, many payers have loosened billing, technology, and other requirements for conducting telehealth visits. Check first with your payer for updated guidance during this time. 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Handout

This tool provides an overview of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), including symptoms, risk factors and treatment options. A Behavioral Health Care Manager can use this handout to supplement a patient’s education about PTSD.

Applying the Integrated Care Approach: Skills for the PCP

Developed in conjunction with the AIMS Center, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) offers a 2-hour course outlining essential skills for a primary care provider within a Collaborative Care program. The course aims to help PCPs 1) understand the Collaborative Care model and develop skills to work with a psychiatric consultant and 2) strengthen behavioral health skills for a primary care setting.

This course is free and participants are eligible to earn Continuing Medical Education credits.

See also Collaborative Care for Primary Care Providers.