CCA Behavioral Health Clinician Anjali has been practicing at CCA for 10 years. When she joined, her department had only two behavioral health clinicians, and it has since grown to more than 20 behavioral health clinical staff. Even before that, Anjali’s career was focused on person-centered care for older adults. She became familiar with CCA by working in the same field and saw the organization’s unique care model as a great fit for her interest and passion.
Anjali spends each day helping CCA members with their complex behavioral health needs. Because the individual circumstances of each case are so different, she is always learning something new and developing fresh approaches for connecting with the members. To establish trust, developing a rapport with each member is important. There is no shortcut reaching a place where a member is comfortable to accept your support, and Anjali always takes her time and maintains respect for their boundaries and their individual circumstances.
“Every member has distinct health and wellness goals for their care. It is important that they identify these goals for themselves. My job is to support each member on their journey in achieving them,” she said.
To take care of the members she serves, Anjali believes collaboration is essential. Collaborating with colleagues with different areas of expertise is one of her favorite parts of her job. To treat a behavioral health issue effectively, it is important to consider all aspects of a member’s health. Anjali relies on the knowledge and advice of her colleagues with different specialties to provide the most pragmatic care possible.
This collaboration can include CCA’s practitioners from various segments such as physical therapy, pharmacy, or palliative care etc. By assessing all these areas of expertise at the same time, Anjali and her colleagues can work together to create a care plan that fully supports the member identified goals of care. “It takes a village” to adequately address these complexities in most cases, she said.
“We can be flexible and adapt to our members’ needs. I think, that is what sets CCA apart.”
Traditionally, behavioral health has often been treated separately from physical health. However, behavioral health is essential to physical health, and vice versa. In the time since Anjali became a behavioral health clinician, she feels that the healthcare industry has moved toward integrating behavioral health as an important part of health care. While there is still a long way to go before the industry has fully committed to this shift, she is hopeful that integrated health care will one day be the standard of care. She feels positive about the change she sees.
“I would say it is encouraging. Behavioral health is slowly but surely becoming more a part of mainstream healthcare than it was 10 or 15 years ago,” she said.
Anjali’s sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in her work comes from assisting CCA member in reaching their behavioral health goals. Her work continuously gives her a new perspective on people’s capability to overcome adversity, she said.
“This job keeps me grounded. Working with real people, and on really intimate issues, makes you appreciate the strength we have as humans.”
When Anjali thinks about the future, she is most interested in pursuing trainings to stay at the forefront of her work. Behavioral health is constantly evolving, and she is dedicated to learning new methods to enhance her clinical skills.
Outside of work, Anjali loves cooking, gardening, and relaxing with a cup of piping hot tea. Unlike many other people living in a metropolitan area, Anjali also loves driving, despite the traffic.
When she is not practicing mindfulness and meditation, Anjali also loves talking to people.
“I really am a people person,” she said. “I find that I can forget about the pressures of the day, often by just having a chit chat with anyone.