Resources Behavioral Health Aide Manual

What is the electronic Behavioral Health Aide Manual?

Behavioral Health Aides/Practitioners (BHA/Ps) provide critical and ongoing services in rural and remote Alaskan locations, often with limited on-site resources or support. The electronic Behavioral Health Aide Manual (BHAM) contains practical guidance to help BHA/Ps provide behavioral health services in an Alaskan context. It provides fundamental information and best practices for addressing many of the issues and concerns identified during client care visits. The eBHAM is also intended as a guide for other providers who work with BHA/Ps. It will help providers to reinforce BHA/P training, reduce errors and confusion, and enhance BHA/Ps’ confidence in service and treatment planning.  

The manual has six sections.

  • Introduction: History and background information about the Alaska Tribal Health System (ATHS) and the Behavioral Health Aide Program. Information about the importance of regular self-care and stress management for all BHA/Ps and their clients.
  • Professional Orientation: Fundamental information about legal and ethical concepts related to behavioral health services and clinical practices, including[EA1] [PSD2]  referrals, consent to treatment, confidentiality and release of information, mandatory reporting, risk management, supervision, and documentation.
  • Clinical Skills for Client Care: Information, guidelines, and best practices for understanding and working with diverse client populations, including information about lifespan development, healthy relationships, wellness, interventions, difficult clients, caregivers, parenting, and elder care.
  • Client Care Chapters: Guidelines for understanding and treating a variety of mental health and substance abuse issues in children, adolescents, adults, and elders.
  • Overlapping Issues: An overview of and strategies for working with clients who have co-occurring diagnoses or overlapping medical and behavioral health problems. This section also includes chapters on medication management, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, involuntary commitment, problems with diminishing resources, foster care, and incarceration, as these topics often influence individual wellness and behavioral health.
  • Glossary: Definitions of terms used throughout the BHAM and a list of acronyms and what they mean.

Purpose of the eBHAM

The eBHAM was created exclusively for the Behavioral Health Aide Program with input from Alaska Native BHA/Ps, BHA/P clinical supervisors, and clinical and content experts throughout the state. Grounded in Alaska Native ways of knowing, the manual recommends culturally and clinically appropriate services based on best practices adapted specifically for this Alaskan program.

This manual should not be used as a general medical reference, a self-teaching tool, or a guide for practicing outside of the BHA/P training or certification level. Instead, the eBHAM should be used to complement training and assist in providing services according to the organization’s policies and procedures.

The Community Health Aide Program (CHAP) Certification Board, which sets forth standards for BHA/P certification, acknowledges the significant role of the eBHAM by requiring that any licensed behavioral health clinician who provides program oversight be familiar with the eBHAM. See CHAPCB Sec 2.40.010(a)(1))A).

How to Get Access to the eBHAM

The Behavioral Health Aide Manual is provided as an online document called the eBHAM. Tribal Health Organizations notify the ANTHC BHA Program when a new BHA/P is hired, and they are given access information to this member-only site. For entities outside the Alaska Tribal Health System, individual user accounts may be purchased when students are enrolled in the ANTHC BHA Training Center.

How to Request an Edit to the eBHAM

The eBHAM is a living document and is regularly reviewed for updates, edits, and additions. We welcome feedback at any time on how to improve the eBHAM as a resource for BHA/Ps. We welcome all feedback that will help us ensure that the eBHAM provides users with the most current information and best practices for BHA/Ps in their role.

To request an edit of the eBHAM, please email us at and include “eBHAM” or “electronic Behavioral Health Aide Manual” in the subject line. In the body of the email, include information about the section of the eBHAM where you found an issue and notes about the requested edits.