When Stanley’s parents passed away, the 54-year-old retired electrician grieved but didn’t feel he could burden others with it. He got help from an unexpected source during a routine dental check-up at Asian Health Services in Oakland, Calif., after he answered new questions about his feelings. The questions were added into the patient intake form by Chief Dental Officer Huong Le, in English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Spanish. The clinic screens 300 to 400 patients per year, and on average, 7% will be referred to counseling. In 2018, Le was the first to hire a licensed clinical social worker. Since the pandemic, Asian Health Services has been following a hybrid model of in-person and telehealth counseling. Stanley was connected to a counselor who also spoke Vietnamese and over the course of a year, had regular 20-minute phone conversations. “There was somebody there to console me and help me move forward with life,” he says. Le is now a faculty member for a learning collaborative that trains dentists and recently released a user guide to share lessons learned.

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