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Frequently Asked Questions

What is behavioral health?

Behavioral health refers to the connection between behaviors and the health and well-being of the mind and body. It encompasses mental health and substance use/abuse conditions, life stressors and crises, stress-related physical symptoms, and health behaviors.

What is wellness?

Wellness is an active process of examining options, making choices, and taking actions in the pursuit of being a better person and living a better life through the optimal balance of the following eight overlapping and interconnected life domains: intellectual, existential/spiritual, emotional, financial, occupational & recreational, environmental, social, and physical.

What does Behavioral Health and Wellness do?

The three main categories of services Behavioral Health and Wellness performs are:

  • Providing clinical support, case management, and consultative behavioral health services to beneficiaries
  • Educating the organization on behavioral health and wellness matters through presentations and trainings
  • Developing and advocating for the adoption of behavioral health and wellness policies, programs, and practices across the organization

Who can receive Behavioral Health and Wellness services?

At present, there are three Behavioral Health and Wellness officers at NOAA. The Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, National Weather Service, and NOAA Fisheries each fund an officer. Therefore, the primary beneficiary populations are those personnel who work for these three line offices. However, Behavioral Health and Wellness is a growing program, and will hopefully provide services across all of NOAA eventually. If you do not belong to the identified primary beneficiary populations above, but you want to receive behavioral health and wellness services, please still contact us.

Are Behavioral Health and Wellness services confidential?

The Behavioral Health and Wellness officers at NOAA are licensed clinicians whose practices are governed by the laws of their licensure and their professional codes of ethics. All communications between an individual and Behavioral Health and Wellness are confidential unless there exists a clear and present threat to life of that individual and/or others; a suspicion of threat to life, or of abuse or neglect, of a child or vulnerable adult (i.e., an adult unable to independently care for him/herself); or if the individual has explicitly granted permission to breach confidentiality. It is important to note that even in the aforementioned circumstances, every effort is made to maintain the greatest degree of confidentiality possible by disclosing the minimum amount of information necessary to safeguard the lives and safety of those concerned, and to do so with the expressed consent of the individual.

Will receiving Behavioral Health and Wellness services affect a person’s career?

If you are experiencing signs and/or symptoms of a behavioral health condition, this could be negatively affecting your job performance. Receiving Behavioral Health and Wellness services could have a positive effect on your job performance, and therefore a positive effect on your career.

If you believe that your career has been negatively affected by receiving Behavioral Health and Wellness services—or if you are concerned that your career would be negatively affected if you did receive said services—please contact us so that we can have a confidential conversation regarding your concern.

How can a person go about receiving Behavioral Health and Wellness services?

If you are interested in receiving, discussing, or learning more about any of the services that Behavioral Health and Wellness performs—or you want to suggest additional services for Behavioral Health & Wellness to consider performing—please feel welcomed and encouraged to reach out directly to us!

You are here: https://www.omao.noaa.gov/learn/headquarters/office-health-services/behavioral-health-wellness/frequently-asked-questions
Reviewed: February 2, 2021. Contact us with page issues.

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