Poor mental health is a major public health issue that robs millions of people of their chance to lead healthy and productive lives. Depression alone doubles overall healthcare costs, worsens other medical conditions, and results in a staggering loss of productivity at work. In underserved rural areas in the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) region, a severe shortage of mental health providers compounds these problems.
The AIMS Center provided training and technical assistance to St. Luke’s Health System as they implemented a Collaborative Care program in April 2017. This implementation took place over 12 months and included three clinics in spring 2017 and two clinics in fall 2017. Eventually collaborative care will be spread across the entire of network of clinics at St. Luke’s Health System, the only Idaho-based, not-for-profit health system.
A pilot program attempting to determine whether integrated mental health care can be effective given the unique challenges faced by primary care clinics in Alaska.