Behavioral and Mental Health

Many studies have demonstrated that high-quality mental and behavioral health care may often be delivered in primary care settings. Because mental health, behavioral health, and substance use disorders are among the most common conditions seen in primary care settings and frequently occur with other medical problems, primary care providers are often in the best position to identify, diagnose, and treat them. A primary care practice will not reach its full potential without adequately addressing patients' mental health needs.

To further research in this area, AHRQ has developed a portal to serve as a national resource and coordinating center. Go to the Academy for Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care.

Two Integrated Care Workforce Tools: A Guidebook of Professional Practices and a Literature Review

Evidence suggests that behavioral health integration—often referred to as collaborative care, integrated primary care, or integrated care—leads to improved care and reduced costs. New resources from AHRQ can help practices integrate care more effectively.

A Guidebook of Professional Practices for Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration: Observations from Exemplary Sites identifies key professional practices among exemplary integrated primary care organizations. The report profiles eight leading primary care organizations that have successfully integrated behavioral health services.

Provider- and Practice-Level Competencies for Integrated Behavioral Health in Primary Care: A Literature Review identifies a comprehensive set of competencies that practices, providers, and staff need to advance integration efforts.

More Academy Publications

Lexicon for Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration. This lexicon is a set of concepts and definitions developed by expert consensus for what we mean by behavioral health and primary care integration—a functional definition—what things look like in practice. A consensus lexicon enables effective communication and concerted action among clinicians, care systems, health plans, payers, researchers, policymakers, business modelers and patients working for effective, widespread implementation on a meaningful scale.

Atlas of Integrated Behavioral Health Care Quality Measures. The IBHC Measures Atlas aims to support the field of integrated behavioral health care measurement by:

  1. Presenting a framework for understanding measurement of integrated care;
  2. Providing a list of existing measures relevant to integrated behavioral health care; and
  3. Organizing the measures by the framework and by user goals to facilitate selection of measures.
Internet Citation: Behavioral and Mental Health. June 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/prevention-chronic-care/improve/mental/index.html