The Path Forward for Mental Health and Substance Use is a coalition of 5 influential non-profit organizations aiming to enhance affordability and sustainability of high-value, effective mental health treatment. Collaborative Care has been identified as one of the "five inter-related opportunities to stem the tide of access issues."(1) The Path Forward recently published a short piece strongly advocating for the use of Collaborative Care during COVID-19, and are calling on mental health advocates to push for the implementation of CoCM in primary care settings.
Read more on the proven effectiveness of Collaborative Care in rural primary clinics serving primarily AI/AN patients.
Behavioral health conditions are expected to increase and worsen as a result of COVID-19. According to a survey conducted by the American Psychiatric Association (see link below), 36% of respondents said that COVID-19 is "seriously affecting their mental health" and most (59%) said it's having a serious impact on their daily life (1). Primary care is likely to see many of these patients.
After training with the AIMS Center, Columbia County Health System in Dayton, WA has built a robust behavioral health program that makes resourceful use of telepsychiatry. Read more about the care model and barriers to behavioral health access in rural communities.
AIMS Co-Director Dr. Anna Ratzliff is quoted on the importance of treating opioid use disorder and mental health issues concurrently.
With the help of implementation coaching from the AIMS Center, Morris Hospital successfully launched a collaborative care program. Dr. Jennifer Thomas, family medicine physician, discusses the positive impact for both patients and primary care providers.