Everyone knows what a first aid kit is. We’ve all seen them. We’ve all used them. Convenient boxes containing the basic tools needed to treat medical emergencies: bandages and antibiotic ointments for cuts, cold compresses for burns, aspirin for headaches and inflammation.
But what if someone were to have a psychiatric emergency? Would others even know it was happening? Would anyone know what to do? Are there ‘tools’ to help someone in psychiatric distress?
Any observer of health care has heard a lot about integration. The system can’t move forward without it.
It’s the panacea for siloed, fragmented care. Once we achieve the integration between behavioral and physical health services, we have achieved true person-centered, holistic care. Most people agree that integration is how we develop truly effective care, but how to implement integration remains a debated topic.
In the midst of an election year and a national opioid addiction crisis, mental health is finally getting the attention it’s due.
The Mental Health Reform Act, which has already been approved by the Senate HELP Committee, is one of those efforts that is trying to right the ship to balance mental and physical health care.
I love Prince. My first job was at a movie theater that played Purple Rain for months.
I saw that movie hundreds of times, in five-minute bursts while I left the ticket booth unattended. My first concert was the Purple Rain tour – at the Capital Centre, outside of Washington, DC; one of the first albums I bought with my own money was Dirty Mind, on cassette, no less.
When it comes to addressing opiate addiction, it’s all beginning to come together.
Within mere days of each other, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a historic law holding great promise to curb the Commonwealth’s opioid epidemic; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidelines for prescribing opioids; and the U.S. Senate passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA) by a near-unanimous vote.
If you have read Beacon Health Options’ white paper, “Integration,” you learned that more than half of all adults with major depressive disorder are already managed in primary care settings.
You also learned that most antidepressant medications are written by primary care physicians (PCPs). However, most concerning is that approximately 45 percent of those who complete suicide have seen their PCP within the past month.
In February, President Obama proposed a FY17 budget that allocates $1.1B in new funding to address the opioid use disorder crisis in the United States.
Whatever one’s politics (or general anxieties about the 2016 election season), we all agree that something must change. Despite the best efforts of policymakers, health care professionals, and communities to combat this problem, opioid deaths continue to rise, prompting the question: Why is the epidemic so pervasive?
Integration is a buzzword in mental health care, but what does it really mean?
Such a plethora of definitions leads to a lack of clarity about what activities need to take place, where, and by whom to really make a difference in improved health for people with mental illness.