Primary care is our first line of defense. It is the “de facto” mental health system. Let’s face it. For effective behavior health care, we need equally an effective primary care system. Two thirds of primary care providers report poor access to mental health care for their patients. Primary care and behavioral health clinicians have to work together with their patients, families addressing mental health, substance abuse conditions, health behaviors, life stressors, crises, and stress-related physical symptoms. By integrating primary care and behavioral health care, we have discovered that we are able to improve health outcome, reduce cost of caring for individuals with multiple conditions and ease the entry of our individuals into needed behavioral health care that would have been difficult otherwise.
We diagnose and treat common illnesses and spot minor health problems before they become serious ones. We offer preventive services such as flu shots, counseling on diet and smoking, blood work, and play an important role to help manage the care of persons with chronic health conditions.
Primary care practices are increasingly becoming our new model of care and is person- centered integrated health care with behavioral health care. Basic goal is to build close collaboration between primary care and behavioral health care. Providers may operate in separate facilities, have separate record systems, and engage in occasional communication via phone or email concerning our clients. But, at our site, there is close collaboration among available providers for the following services: