The Institute of Medicine (IOM) defines mental health integration (MHI) as a comprehensive approach to promoting the health of individuals, families and communities based on communication and coordination of evidence-based primary care and mental health services. It emphasizes integration as an example of quality health care delivery design that facilitates communication and coordination based on consumer and family preferences and sound economics. Integrated care occurs when mental health specialty and general medical care providers work together to address both the physical and mental health needs of their patients. Integration can work in two directions: either (1) specialty mental health care introduced into primary care settings, or (2) primary health care introduced into specialty mental health settings. By definition, integration must involve linking primary care providers with mental health providers, but the models differ widely in terms of the nature of these linkages and the strategies used to target various aspects of the care process.
For more information:
- You may view a recording of the September 2010 webinar "Understanding Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration" at this link:
- You may review a recording of the November 2010 webinar "Consumers as Partners in Health" at this link:
- MHA's position statement