National Council for Mental Wellbeing

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What is Integrated Care?

People with mental health and substance use disorders may die decades earlier than the general population — 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 misuse Barriers to primary care coupled with challenges in navigating complex health care systems have been major obstacles to care.

At the same time, primary care settings have become the gateway to the behavioral health system, and primary care providers need support and resources to screen and treat individuals with behavioral and general health care needs.

The solution lies in integrated care, the systematic coordination of general and behavioral health care. Integrating mental health and substance use treatment with primary care services produces the best outcomes and proves the most effective approach to caring for people with multiple health care needs.

For more information on integration trainings and consulting, please visit our integrated care consulting page.

For more information on a Johnson & Johnson integration project, visit our models of integrated care section.