Behavioral Health FAQs

Are Behavioral Health Services Right For Me? 

What if I’m Not a Whitman Walker Patient?

How does the Screening Process Work? 

Hesitant About Group Therapy? 

What is the Cost of Therapy?

What if I Miss My Appointments?

May I Pick My Therapist?

How Do I Get My Prescriptions Refilled? 

Are Behavioral Health Services Right For Me?

At Whitman-Walker, our therapists have experience working with a variety of individuals and concerns, including those who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) or who face issues related to HIV or sexuality. We are proud to provide compassionate, culturally competent care to assist you in meeting their particular behavioral health goals.

You may benefit from the support of Behavioral Health services if you:

  • Are dealing with issues around sexual identity, figuring out sexuality, coming out;
  • Are struggling with issues in relationships like intimacy, trust, sex, or conflict;
  • Are interested in support around gender identity and/or transitioning;
  • Are seeking support in relation to HIV status;
  • Are emotionally overwhelmed (ex. hopelessness, anxiety, anger, worry, sadness, irritability, etc.);
  • Have been feeling unable to function effectively in your home and/or professional life;
  • Have experienced traumatic experiences in life;
  • Are feeling unable to concentrate or complete tasks;
  • Are sleeping and eating more or less than normal;
  • Have decreased motivation to engage in once pleasurable activities;
  • Are experiencing family or other relationship strain or avoiding social contact;
  • Are using alcohol, drugs, food, sex, money to cope with difficult feelings or are concerned about substance misuse.

What if I’m Not a Whitman Walker Patient?

Behavioral Health services are available to patients who receive medical care at Whitman-Walker Health. If you are not a patient of Whitman-Walker Health, find out how to become a patient. Individuals seeking substance abuse treatment through our WWAS program do not need to be pre-existing patients. Here is how our process works.

  1. If you are interested in behavioral health services, you can request a face-to-face consultation with a Behavioral Health Specialist at the time of your medical appointment to learn more about the variety of mental health and substance abuse services that we provide. You can also get information or schedule a screening by calling the Behavioral Health Treatment Coordinator 202.797.3539.
  1. The initial screening is a brief interview with one of our trained staff. This interview is a way for us to understand what you’re looking for, explore options, and determine the best care plan for you. Once a screening is complete, the information is reviewed by our clinical team to provide recommendations for your care.
  1. Recommendations for your care may include individual or group therapy, substance abuse-focused individual or group therapy, psychiatry, peer-services, or other referrals.  Due to the volume of people seeking services and the diverse issues that arise, sometimes individuals may be placed on a waitlist or be referred out to other providers in the community. Typically, there is a waiting list for behavioral health; you may not be immediately placed with a provider.
  1. If you are referred to one of our providers for individual or group therapy, they will contact you to set up your first session.
  1. If you are still debating whether services are right for you, check out “Are Behavioral Health Service Right for Me?” (above)

How Does the Screening Process Work?

All new individuals seeking Mental Health Services must be existing patients at Whitman-Walker Health.  Addiction Services are open to both patients and non-patients of the health center.  If you are interested in becoming a patient please visit our Becoming a New Patient page.  If you are already a patient at Whitman-Walker, feel free to call 202.797.3539 or speak to your medical provider about your options.

Hesitant About Group Therapy?

Groups can be an opportunity to connect to others going through similar struggles and life challenges. Groups create a safe space to look at issues affecting your emotional, social and behavioral health, while receiving support, encouragement and insight. Groups have been proven to be a significant way to manage issues like depression, anxiety, stress, trauma, and substance abuse.  Sometimes groups are the best way to get support because members can relate to one another based on similar experiences.

“I finally felt at home in this group. Even though everyone was different, I heard my story in the story of others. That is where my healing started.” 

In recognizing shared experiences, group members can be inspired to find hope for recovering, improve self-esteem, overcome challenges, and overcome loneliness. Often it is helpful to learn how others manage their life challenges as a way to find help for your own. Groups are all facilitated by a licensed mental health clinician.  Mental health groups typically meet once weekly; substance abuse treatment groups vary in frequency based on level of care. Groups can vary in size from 4-15 people and offer a “safe space” to talk about shared issues.

“Group is a safe space for me and offers something different compared to individual therapy.”

Groups emphasize and honor the confidentiality and safety of each member. Prior to starting group, you will go through a screening to determine, what services would best meet your needs.

Still curious about therapy groups? If you have more questions about group or are interested in joining group, please call 202.797.3539.

What is the Cost of Therapy?

Whitman-Walker accepts many commercial and public insurance programs. Upon starting individual or group therapy, your insurance will be billed for the services. Some insurance plans will charge co-pays or co-insurance, and deductibles may apply. These costs will be collected when you check-in for your appointment. Please contact your insurance provider to determine the out-of-pocket costs. If you do not have insurance or do not have a plan that covers mental health or addictions services, please contact our Public Benefits department to discuss other options.

What if I Miss My Appointments?

Due to the high need in our community for services, we must enforce a “No Show Policy” for individuals who miss multiple scheduled sessions. We define a “No Show” as missing a session (individual, group, intensive outpatient) without alerting the clinician of your absence. If you need to cancel or reschedule a session you must contact your clinician no later than 24 hours before your appointment. After three “no shows” you will not be eligible for that service at Whitman-Walker for at least one year.

What constitutes a No Show:

  • If I do not notify my therapist of a cancellation at least 24 hours in advance of my appointment, it will count as a missed/no show for the appointment.
  • If I do not show up for my appointment and give no advanced notice it will be considered a no-show and count as a missed appointment.

Contact your provider if you have further questions.

May I Pick My Therapist?

At the time of your assessment you may express interest working in one of our therapists or you may specify any other preferences, like the gender of your provider or your availability. However, due to the high demand and limited capacity we cannot guarantee a chosen placement. We will work to ensure that the best match is made.

How Do I Get My Prescriptions Refilled?

To refill your prescription contact our prescription line: 866.724.1805 or click here.

For more information about our pharmacy click here.