What Does a Firefly Behavioral Health Specialist Do?
Mental health plays an enormous role in overall health. While it’s often viewed as being separate from physical health, the two are actually closely related and can impact one another — positively and negatively.
At Firefly Health, we believe that mental health is as important as physical health and that helping our patients maintain good mental health is crucial to keeping them healthy overall. That’s why we integrate behavioral health care directly into our primary care model by screening patients regularly for common mental health conditions and including a behavioral health specialist on all of our patients’ care teams.
Meet Bryna Hacket, one of our amazing behavioral health specialists. Read on to learn more about her background, her role at Firefly, and how she helps keep our patients feeling mentally healthy!
What’s your role at Firefly Health & what does it encompass?
I am a Behavioral Health Specialist and a licensed clinical social worker (LICSW) by training. I work with patients that have been referred to me by their clinicians to help meet their stated goals related to depression, anxiety, psychosocial stressors, and other behavioral health conditions. I also provide clinical insight to my care team members related to diagnosis and treatment plans, goals, and outcomes.
What’s your background?
Before joining Firefly in June 2020, I was a clinical manager at a large behavioral health organization for several years. Prior to that, I was a clinical manager at an HIV/AIDS organization and was a psychotherapist at the same organization for three years before transitioning to that role.
Why did you pursue a career as a licensed clinical social worker?
I originally wanted to get my Masters in Public Health, but after talking to a friend about social work and researching the field and its Code of Ethics, I decided to change course. Social work is a human rights profession whose core values are service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence. These values aligned with mine, so I decided to take the plunge.
Why do you work for a primary care practice instead of a mental health practice?
I decided to work at a primary care practice that integrates behavioral health into their care because it allows for holistic care, which addresses the whole person, including their mental health. I believe that by integrating behavioral health into primary care, there is a reduced chance that patients will fall into the disconnected space between and not receive the care they need on either side.
What are the most common behavioral health issues you see in patients?
I most commonly work with patients to help them navigate depression (situational and clinical) and anxiety.
Situational depression can happen to anyone at any age and occurs when someone has a hard time coping with a major change or event. It often goes away in time, especially if the affected individual is able to talk about the issue. Clinical depression can look similar to situational depression and can often occur when situational depression goes untreated. It is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about a number of different things, even when there is little or no reason to worry about them. People with GAD find it difficult to control their anxiety and stay focused on tasks.
How long do you typically treat patients with behavioral health conditions? What do you do if someone needs long-term management or medication?
Firefly offers short-term solution-focused therapy with up to seven visits with a behavioral health specialist. If long-term psychotherapy is recommended, we provide a referral to a community psychotherapist. If medication is a consideration, we recommend having a conversation with your clinician to discuss options.
What’s one thing you would tell a patient who’s struggling with their mental health?
It can feel scary and isolating when you are struggling with your mental health and sometimes asking for help can feel even scarier. Asking for help will not immediately improve your mental health or even make you feel better, but it is the first step forward in your path of healing.
Your Firefly care team is here to help
There's no shame in seeking guidance and support to improve your mental health. From medications to supporting changes to your habits and lifestyle, we're here to help you work towards a full recovery. If you’re struggling with a mental health condition, consult with your care team today through the Firefly app. Not a member yet? Get started by signing up below, take our quiz, or call us at (855) 869-9284.