Why Integrated Care Can Improve Mental Health

Why Integrated Care Can Improve Mental Health

Why Integrated Care Can Improve Mental Health

A significant treatment gap exists for individuals living with mental health and substance use conditions.

In 2023, 55% of adults who experienced some form of mental illness didn’t receive treatment – and 60% of youth with major depression went without help.

On a positive note, healthcare professionals can redefine wellness in 2024 by better enabling patient-centered care and wellness through integrated healthcare.

Providing Complete Patient Treatment to Improve Overall Wellness

Integrated care utilizes a high degree of collaboration and communication among physicians, nurses, psychologists and other health professionals that encompasses the sharing of information.

It enables a more streamlined approach to health while establishing a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses the biological, psychological and social needs of the patient.

Along with streamlining treatment, integrated care generates a more holistic approach to patient health – since evidence has shown that mental health disorders can aggravate physical ailments and vice versa.  

Focusing on the Importance of Medical AND Mental Health

Mental health is essential to improving overall health outcomes for patients. Integrated care addresses medical conditions and related behavioral health factors that affect health and well-being.

It’s a rapidly emerging shift – as part of whole-person care – in the practice of high-quality healthcare, and is a core function of the advanced patient-centered medical home.

By treating both the mental and physical needs of patients, health providers can have better opportunities to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction at a lower cost. Simply by addressing common, disabling and costly behavioral health problems.

Integrated care is sometimes called “behavioral healthcare,” “behavioral health integration,” “collaborative care,” or “primary care behavioral health.” No matter the name, the goal is the same – to provide better care and health for the whole person.

How Does it Work?

Providers practicing integrated healthcare recognize that both medical and behavioral health factors are important parts of a person’s overall health.

Typically, medical and behavioral health clinicians will work together as a team to address a patient’s health concerns identified during medical visits.

Medical and behavioral care is delivered by these integrated teams in the primary care setting and are found in primary care and specialty situations such as oncology, cardiology, neurology, pediatrics, and rehabilitation.

The advantage is better coordination and communication, while working toward one set of overall health goals. Behavioral health clinicians often work within the medical setting and are part of the established procedures, team, and information systems.

Wide-Ranging Patient and Provider Benefits

Patients, caregivers, providers and the health care system in general benefit from an integrated healthcare approach. For example:

  • Reduces chronic health conditions caused by behavioral or physical issues
  • Provides patients with convenient and comprehensive healthcare solutions
  • Removes the stigma of needing mental health treatment. Many patients feel more comfortable addressing behavioral healthcare treatment in a setting they’re familiar with vs. a separate behavioral health office
  • Medical practitioners can easily leverage on-site behavorial health partners to help with problems they don’t feel trained to address  
  • Provides a more holistic approach to quality of care
  • Lowers overall healthcare costs

Contact Annashae Today

At Annashae we’re dedicated to the placement of highly-skilled clinical practitioners in short and long-term positions. As a nationwide medical staffing and consulting firm, we provide a range of services that enable our candidates to quickly find the career opportunity that fits their needs. For information on how you can further your clinical career, contact us today.