Integrating and Coordinating Specialty Behavioral Health Care with the Medical System

The Kennedy Forum has released a new policy issue brief “A National Call for Integrating and Coordinating Specialty Behavioral Health Care with the Medical System” and to ask for your leadership and support in the implementation of its recommendations.

This is the first in our series of issue briefs on Fixing Behavioral Health Care in America and was developed in partnership with the Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions (AIMS) Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington and the Kennedy Center for Mental Health Policy and Research, Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine.

Today, patients with serious mental illnesses die at rates two to three times higher than in the general population and more than half of counties in the U.S. do not have a single practicing mental health professional. We cannot improve treatment outcomes for the majority of Americans with behavioral health disorders without improving the effectiveness of care delivered in primary care settings and increasing access to general medical care for individuals with serious mental health and substance use disorders.

Today, patients with serious mental illnesses die at rates two to three times higher than in the general population and more than half of counties in the U.S. do not have a single practicing mental health professional. We cannot improve treatment outcomes for the majority of Americans with behavioral health disorders without improving the effectiveness of care delivered in primary care settings and increasing access to general medical care for individuals with serious mental health and substance use disorders.

Together we are committed to driving solutions and improving outcomes for all Americans living with mental health and substance use disorders. We look forward to working with our mental health and addiction community to advance these goals.

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“We stand on the doorstep to make momentous progress in advancing the cause of this new civil rights struggle started by the work of President Kennedy over 50 years ago.”
— Patrick J. Kennedy
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