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Healthcare Integration
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The Integration Imperative

The integration of mental health and primary care provides (as well as substance use services) a promising solution to system fragmentation (individual care delivery silos) and an opportunity to address

  • mental illness prevention
  • mental health promotion
  • early intervention
  • continuing, coordinated care practice developments aimed at improving mental health outcomes and reducing the disease burden of behavioral health conditions

The research shows that integration of behavioral health and primary care offers the best shot at slowing the down the rate of escalation in health care costs—bending the cost curve—that has been, to a significant degree, driven upwards by ineffective but expensive care for individuals with chronic comorbid health conditions.

The new emphasis on integration represents a major opportunity for clinical mental health counselors. Both primary and specialty settings need, now and in the future, to play a major role in leveraging change in three core drivers of morbidity, mortality and cost:

  1. delays between disease onset, diagnosis and treatment
  2. unaddressed co-morbidity of mental health and substance use disorders
  3. fragmented and uncoordinated care for comorbid physical and behavioral health conditions
The Advocate Newsletter

Integrating Mental Health Services in Pediatric Practices is Feasible and Effective, May 2013

Journal of Mental Health Counseling

Mental Health Services in Primary Care: Implications for Clinical Mental Health Counselors and Other Mental Health Providers, Vol 36, Num 2, Apr 2014

Integrated Health Care Best Practices and Culturally and Linguistically Competent Care: Practitioner Perspectives, Vol 36, Num 2, Apr 2014

Behavioral Health Training Is Good Medicine for Counseling Trainees: Two Curricular Experiences in Interprofessional Collaboration, Vol 36, Num 2, Apr 2014

Integrated Primary Care: Why You Should Care and How to Get Started, Vol 36, Num 2, Apr 2014

Variables Associated with High Caregiver Stress in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment or Alzheimer's Disease: Implications for Providers in a Co-Located Memory Assessment Clinic, Vol 36, Num 2, Apr 2014

Lessons Learned from Designing and Leading Multidsciplinary Diabetes Educational Groups, Vol 36, Num 2, Apr 2014

Cultural Competency, Culturally Tailored Care, and the Primary Care Setting: Possible Solutions to Reduce Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Mental Health Care, Vol 36, Num 2, Apr 2014

Condemning Self, Condemning Other: Blame and Mental Health in Women Suffering Stillbirth, Vol 36, Num 4, Oct 2013

Chronic Pain: Biological Understanding and Treatment Suggestions for Mental Health Counselors, Vol 31, Num 3, Jul 2009

Integrated Health Care: Improving Client Care while Providing Opportunities for Mental Health Counselors, Vol 26, Num 4, Oct 2004

The "No-Show" Phenomenon and the Issue of Resistance Among African American Female Patients at an Urban Health Care Center, Vol 26, Num 1, Jan 2004

Examining Counseling Needs of Headache Patients: An Exploratory Study of Wellness and Perceived Stress, Vol 25, Num 4, Oct 2003

The Impact of Menopause: Implications for Mental Health Counselors, Vol 25, Num 4, Oct 2003


ASCENT Initiative Webinars  - FREE to AMHCA Members!

(2 CEs for each webinar, each 2 hours long, more information)

How to Get Started: Gaining Basic Competencies on Integrated Care and Training in Primary Care Settings

Carving Out an Integrated Care Niche

New Collaborative Models