Welcome to the Integrated Care Information Page. We hope that this will be a great resource for you to find out what integrated care is all about.
People with mental and substance abuse disorders may die decades earlier than the averageperson — mostly from untreated and preventable chronic illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease that are aggravated by poor health habits such as inadequate physical activity, poor nutrition, smoking, and substance abuse. Barriers to primary care — coupled with challenges in navigating complex healthcare systems — have been a major obstacle to care. The solution lies in integrated care, the systematic coordination of general and behavioral healthcare. Integrating mental health, substance abuse, and primary care services produces the best outcomes and proves the most effective approach to caring for people with multiple healthcare needs (SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions, 2013).
The idea of integrated care is not new. In fact, researchers have been studying health integration for some time. What they are finding is that it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to treat someone for their depression at one clinic and then for that patient to go to a doctor to get treated for a cold and then go to yet another location to talk to a substance abuse counselor. What if all of these services could be coordinated? After reading the above information, we hope that you can see the importance of integrating mental health, substance abuse and primary care and treating the whole person, but the real question is, "Does Integrated Care Really Work?"
Well...the results are in and...