Implementation Guide

Educate Your Patients

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The AIMS Center believes patients have a right to be well-informed about their conditions and care. When the patient and family are an integral part of the health care team, it increases motivation, empowerment, adherence, satisfaction -- and most importantly -- better health outcomes.

Teaching patients about mental health and mental health treatments can be particularly challenging due to widespread stigma and misconceptions. Patient education can be done in many different ways, including handing out educational materials, showing relevant patient-centered videos, and directing patients to online information. Behavioral health care managers should work with PCPs and organizational leadership to develop a suite of accessible tools that are informative, reassuring, and appropriate to the care, treatment, and services provided. Content should be available in appropriate reading levels and personalized to each patient depending on cultural differences and specific needs. Use the resources below to get started.

Implementation Resources

Daniel's Story: An Introduction to Collaborative Care (video)
A powerful story that shows how Collaborative Care can change a person's life.

Recognizing symptoms of depression (video)
Real patients talk about their experiences with late life depression and depression treatment.

Elizabeth: A first-hand depression story (video)
After the deaths of her daughter and her husband, Elizabeth struggled with depression for over 20 years but finally found relief.

Introducing your Care Team
An editable flyer template that helps introduce your Collaborative Care team to your patients. Available in both English and Spanish.

Helping Clinic Staff Talk with Patients about the PHQ-9
This tool is designed to help clinic support staff answer common questions they may hear from patients.

Supporting Antidepressant Medication Therapy (video)
A behavioral health care manager demonstrates how to talk with a patient about antidepressant medication.

Many organizations offer excellent patient education materials about depression. Two that are particularly noteworthy are the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation and the Harvard Medical School's Consumer Information page.