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BHOP offers advice for daily stressors

Dr. Shannon O’Connor, Buckley Behavioral Health Optimization Program professional, speaks with a patient Dec. 18, 2014, at the VA Joint Venture Buckley Clinic in Aurora, Colo. BHOP is way for service members and their families to speak with a licensed therapist about any issues they may be experiencing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Samantha Saulsbury/Released)

Dr. Shannon O’Connor, Buckley Behavioral Health Optimization Program professional, speaks with a patient Dec. 18, 2014, at the VA Joint Venture Buckley Clinic in Aurora, Colo. BHOP is way for service members and their families to speak with a licensed therapist about any issues they may be experiencing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Samantha Saulsbury/Released)

(Courtesy Photo)

(Courtesy Photo)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- It's no secret that military life comes with great challenges for military members and their families. 

The Behavioral Health Optimization Program presents an opportunity to speak with someone about concerns ranging from stress to adolescent behavioral problems. BHOP is a resource to improve recognition and early intervention for problems that, if left untreated, diminish quality of life.

Open to all active-duty service members and their families, the licensed BHOP therapist is embedded into primary care instead of mental health. The program allows an avenue to reach assistance that may not require the specialized expertise of psychologists or psychiatrists in the mental health clinic.

Dr. Shannon O'Connor, Buckley's BHOP professional, offers care to anyone experiencing difficulties in their daily lives.

"Not all patients need specialty mental health," O'Connor said. "I don't do diagnostics or anything. I'm a licensed therapist."

Dr. O'Connor ensures patients are seen quickly.

"Her appointments are shorter, typically 20-30 minutes, and focus on offering brief, solution-focused interventions," said 2nd Lt. Stephanie Johnson, 460th Medical Group group practice manager. "She can provide help for stress-related concerns."

Appointments are focused on reducing stress-related health concerns such as relationship and finance problems, anxiety and general depression, eating disorders, migraines and headaches, chronic pain and adolescent behavioral problems.

"The program allows people to have quick access to care," O'Connor said. "I see a lot of same-day appointments. If someone has anxiety issues or sleep issues, if you address them early, then they're taken care of instead of getting worse."

To make an appointment with the BHOP or to find out more information, call 720-847-WELL.
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