Johanna Anderson: Behavioral Health Integration Clinician
Behavioral Health Integration (BHI), which aims to bridge the gap between behavioral/mental and physical health care by embedding behavioral health clinicians in primary care practices, was adopted by Maine Behavioral Healthcare (MBH) through our legacy organization in 2012. MBH has continued to support and expand the program which now consists of 60 clinicians embedded in over 70 practices. Clinician Johanna Anderson, LCSW has been with the program since 2015 and is currently providing care at Maine Medical Partner’s (MMP’s) Portland Pediatrics office.
“Johanna is the clinician every parent would want their child and family to see,” said Johanna’s clinical supervisor, Amy Roberts, LCSW. “She is compassionate, extremely skilled and collaborative. She doesn’t shy away from complexity or severity but embraces very difficult situations with curiosity, zest and clinical precision.”
“I enjoy being a part of a team approach to patient care,” Johanna said. “Being a BHI clinician is a unique opportunity to work in close collaboration with primary care providers.”
When children arrive for their regular appointments, Johanna is readily available to address any burgeoning behavioral or mental health needs. For example, a doctor may discover that a child has been bullied, and refer them to her. The child can meet with Johanna right there in their familiar primary care setting without having to set up an appointment with a separate counseling facility. Not only does this help normalize mental health care but it also reaps the benefits of early treatment. “The child might only need me for one or two visits where I will help them process the isolated event and give them resiliency skills to use in the future. Then they are all set,” she said. “We call it an ‘upstream approach’ because catching red flags early on can prevent more complicated behavioral and mental health challenges later in life.”
Practice Manager Lindsay Erdmann complimented Johanna as a great addition to MMP Portland Pediatrics. “She is exceptional with patients and has established solid relationships with them as well as staff. Johanna is extremely knowledgeable and has presented to the group on multiple topics. We are lucky to have her!” As Maine Behavioral Healthcare continues to expand its BHI program we hope to see more clinicians like Johanna making a difference in primary care offices across the state.