Although effective treatments exist for most forms of mental illness, too many Americans don’t receive the mental health care they need. This is in large part because our specialty mental health care system does not have the capacity to serve this population. Increasing access to quality care will require a comprehensive strategy that fosters integration of behavioral health into our primary care system and coordination of care throughout our public systems.
People living with untreated or inadequately treated mental illnesses and addictions often live shorter and sicker lives because of untreated and preventable chronic illnesses. Integrated care programs can improve care for the millions of patients who have medical and mental disorders by providing both medical and mental health care in the same clinical setting.
The Kennedy Forum is working to advance evidence-based integration models, like Collaborative Care, that have been proven to achieve the Triple Aim of health care reform: better patient outcomes, increased patient and provider satisfaction, and a lowering of health care costs.
Why It Matters
- Mental illness costs the US nearly $200 billion each year, yet only 1 in 3 patients who are diagnosed with a serious mental illness receive minimally adequate treatment.