Mental Health, Substance Abuse & Primary Care: Bridging Gaps in Access
Nearly half of adults who died by suicide visited a primary care physician within a month before their deaths, according to an influential study. Primary care is on the front lines facing behavioral health disorders that have reached crisis proportions: suicide deaths at a 30-year high, an estimated 1.9 million Americans addicted to opioids. Yet studies show primary care providers often lack the time and resources to treat mental health and substance use disorders.
This webinar explored ways to bridge the gap between primary care and behavioral health care, including:
- Tools such as evidence-based rating scales that measure the severity of an illness and how well treatments are working
- A model that involves embedding behavioral health specialists in primary care clinics to promote screening and monitor interventions
- Uses of collaborative care and telehealth, particularly in regions known as behavioral health care deserts
- What the White House and SAMHSA are doing to reduce disparities in access to behavioral health care, including treatment for substance abuse