Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Switch Toolkit Issue 2

In this issue

  • Dealing with Questions
  • Answering Phones
  • Business Cards

What if someone asks me about the switch?

Well, that depends on who is asking...

If someone from the MEDIA is asking:

If someone from the media comes into one of our sites or calls you direct in your office with questions about the switch, you should redirect them to Roger Perez in the Public Information Office at 868-6807.

In fact, as a matter of policy, you should direct ANY media inquiries to the public information officer (PIO). The PIO will facilitate the requests of the media and arrange for appropriate response and contact according to the communication goals of the department.

Please do not discuss department business with the media, even if you believe that the communication is "off the record". Simply state that you are not permitted to comment on department issues and that they should contact the Public information Officer for a comment or interview. It is permissible to distribute the contact information of the PIO to the media. Again, I can be reached at 868-6807.

If someone from the public is asking about the switch:

You can certainly discuss our new name with clients and other members of the public.

Remember to keep it simple... first of all, explain that We are changing our name and logo, not changing who we are or what we do.
We want to make it easier for people with behavioral health conditions to find the care they need so we are making our look more distinct and recognizable.
The name change more clearly shows that we are about both behavioral health conditions - mental illness and substance use disorders, not just mental health as our former name implieD.

Emphasis for us remains on recovery and support. Our end goal is to help improve the quality of life for persons with behavioral health conditions. Recovery is so essential to what we do that it belongs in our name.

Of course, if you are not sure about what to say, you can always redirect questions about the switch to your supervisor or the PIO office for more information.

Overall, remember to stay positive and that "EVERYONE" is, or is a potential, customer. Always keep an upbeat attitude when dealing with others. Refrain from talking negatively about the organization or our services in any way and show them you're enthusiasm for what you do.

How should I answer the phones after the switch?

Answering the phones in a consistent and clear manner is VERY important to driving a successful "re-branding". Every time we answer the phone, it's an opportunity to share who we are and what we believe with the public. We need to take full advantage of these opportunities and train people on who we are at every turn.

always keep good customer service practices when answering the phones.

Stay Positive. Always remember that we are here to help people. Never forward a phone call "cold", always make it a "WARM HAND-OFF" by calling ahead and filling in the next person on where you are so far with the person on the other end of the call.

Never forget that it's a person you are dealing with on the other end of the line... a person just like you... treat them accordingly.

Always do whatever you can to help. If someone needs some information, see if you can track it down for them. Do not "pawn off" a call onto others. Try to give callers what they need without passing them on. Only pass someone on to another person if they specifically ask for someone or if you cannot directly help them. If you do send the caller to another person, let them know who you are forwarding their call to and give them the number in case they get disconnected.

whenever we end a call, we should feel confident that we have done all we could to provide a solution for the person on the other end of that call.

WE KNOW OUR NEW NAME CAN BE A MOUTHFUL, but it is important, especially at the beginning of the switch, that we use our ENTIRE NAME when answering the phone. This will reinforce that new name and help to ease the transition. We need to use our first communications to train the people that we deal with to use our new name as well.

A typical phone interaction should start with the following:

"Hello, thank you for calling Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, how can I help you today?"

Whenever possible it is important to end a call with something like:

I hope we were able to help you today, please call us again soon!

Outgoing and vacation messages

Remember that you will also need to change your outgoing message and your vacation outgoing messages to reflect the change. Make sure to mention us by our ENTIRE name when referring to the department. 

QUICK NOTE: Email and email signatures will also be changing as part of the switch. We will cover that topic in a future issue of this toolkit.

How do I order new business cards?

A distinct process has been developed to order new business cards for the switch. This process has been designed to make the transition as easy and quick as possible. Your supervisor will be receiving access to an online form to order new cards. They will have final authority over the style of cards that will be chosen for each division.

Once your supervisor receives this access, they will discuss the direction with your team and show you how to order your cards.

Bilingual cards will be available (Style 1), but we strongly encourage you to only choose those cards if you yourself are able to offer services to the bilingual population. We do not want to over promise on a service. If we cannot provide immediate bilingual care, we should not promote that as such on our cards.

There are three card designs to choose from. Those will all be on the form. You will be able to customize each design with the personal information you choose using the digital form, although our crisis and other access numbers will be included on all cards.

Here is a look at the styles that will be available:

STYLE ONE (seen below) is a bilingual card. It includes English on one side and Spanish on the back.

Style One - Side One
Style One - Side 2

STYLE TWO is the English version of the same card, it utilizes both sides of the card to present information and is a bit less cluttered than the bilingual version.

STYLE THREE is a portrait version of the card that adds a bit of visual difference to the mix.

STYLE FOUR is a slightly cleaner version of style two with included slogan on the back with the emergency numbers.

Timeline Update

The switch date is approaching ever faster! County Counsel will go to the Board of Supervisors Meeting on January 24th to request permission to post a notice of ordinance change in the paper. The following Sunday, we will begin our official notice to the public of our name change. In 30 days (approximately February 28), our "review period" will be complete and we can begin promoting the name change.

We will begin promotiing the name change for several weeks with our OFFICIAL SWITCH DATE being March 15, 2017.

Our name change and switch will happen on the ides of march. (March 15)

Thank you for taking the time to read our second issue. In future issues, we will take a look at:

  • a new style guide
  • email and email signatures
  • our new letterhead and stationary
  • new security badges
  • what to expect in advertising
  • new email addresses
  • social media
  • events and press coverage
  • and much more!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me by e-mail at


Created with images by kevin dooley - "Thingamagoop 2 from Bleep Labs" • pashminu - "video camera video shooting video" • andrewmalone - "Phone" • jarmoluk - "business card contact business cards" • Unsplash - "printing plate letters font"

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