Thursday, May 4, was National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day whose theme this year, “Partnering for Help and Hope”, rings particularly true with Beacon Health Options.
Highlighting the importance of integrating behavioral health and primary care for children, youth and young adults with mental and/or substance use disorders, the day brings to light the many innovative Beacon programs and solutions that integrate behavioral health and primary care. At Beacon, we view the community as integral to the solution.
Serendipity made me a barbecue judge in Memphis, a martial arts student in Little Rock, and a psychiatrist/epidemiologist in a conference call about the implementation of measurement-based mental health care – this in the last several weeks. This serendipity also made it clear to me what all of these activities have in common: the need to quantify quality.
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.
We hear a lot about the value of relationships in our personal lives.
They help people to live longer, deal with stress better, and experience better well-being. The same can be said for health care, where relationships take the form of partnerships. For Beacon Health Options (Beacon), this is especially true in Colorado where, for 22 years, Beacon and its partners have measurably improved the lives of the people they serve.
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.
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.