Mental Health

The PCN mental health team helps with habits, behaviours, stress, worry, or emotional concerns about life problems that interfere with your overall health. Located at your family doctor’s office, or centrally at the PCN offices, our mental health nurses use brief, solution-focused interventions to support you in developing health behaviours that will assist you to meet your health and wellness goals.

What is a Behavioural Health Consultant?

Behavioral health consultations are services provided by a mental health nurse to assist with habits, behaviors, stress, worry, or emotional concerns about physical or other life problems that interfere with someone’s daily life and/or overall health.

In the role of Behavioural Health Consultant (BHC), a mental health nurse works with your family physician to evaluate the mind-body-behavior connection and provide brief, solution-focused interventions.

BHCs have specialty training in the behavioural management of health problems. Together, the BHC and your family physician can consider all of the physical, behavioural, and emotional aspects of your health concern and help you determine a course of action that will work best for you.

What kinds of health concerns do BHCs help with?

The BHC can help you develop skills to effectively manage emotional or behavioural difficulties such as:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • stress
  • anger
  • family problems
  • relationship problems
  • bereavement

A BHC can help you develop behavioral change plan for weight loss, exercise and other lifestyle modifications.

BHCs can also help you reduce symptoms associated with various chronic medical conditions or help you cope better with these conditions.

A few of these are:

  • headaches
  • sleep
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • asthma
  • obesity
  • chronic pain

Who is eligible to receive these services?

These services are available to patients of family physicians who are part of the St. Albert and Sturgeon Primary Care Network. Click for the list.

What should I expect when I see the BHC?

You can expect the BHC to ask you specific questions about your physical symptoms, any emotional concerns you are experiencing, your behaviours, and how all of these might be related.

You can expect your appointments to be no longer than 30 minutes in general, and for the BHC to provide brief, solution-focused assessment and treatment. You can also expect the BHC to have a close working relationship with your family physician.

Remember: you and your family physician remain in charge of your health care – the BHC’s primary job is to help you and your family physician develop and implement the best integrated health care plan for YOU!

How is this service different from Alberta Health Services Mental Health?

The services provided by the BHC are simply another part of your overall health care, and are not specialty mental health care.

Documentation of your assessment and recommendations from the BHC will be written in your family physician’s clinic medical record. A separate mental health record will not be kept when you see the BHC.

Communications with your BHC may not be entirely confidential. Your BHC will make every effort to protect your privacy. But, like all providers, they must report information from any active duty patient that could have a negative impact on our mission.

The BHC will not provide traditional psychotherapy. If you request, or the BHC thinks you would benefit from specialty mental health services, the BHC will recommend that you and your family physician consider specialty mental health services

For more information or referral, please ask your family physician.

For more information, see our detailed list of health management resources