Premera Rural Mental Health Initiative

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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, 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. 

Collaborative Care (CoCM) is a model for integrated behavioral health with a strong evidence base for treating common mental health conditions like depression and anxiety in primary care settings (2). CoCM has proven to be effective when delivered via telehealth, either in part or wholly (3). 


Poor mental health is a major public health issue, affecting millions of people in their pursuit to lead optimal emotional, social, and professional lives. Depression alone can worsen other medical conditions, often doubling over-all healthcare costs, and result in a staggering loss of productivity at work and in the home. In underserved rural areas in Washington and Alaska, a severe shortage of mental health providers compounds these problems.

The AIMS Center is partnering with Premera to support up to 30 clinics in rural Washington and Alaska to expand access to evidence-based mental health treatment. Selected clinics will receive up to $245,000 over 15 months to defray participation costs. 

Applications open for Cohort 2 

We are currently accepting applications for Cohort 2. More clinics are now eligible to apply; view section 2 of the RFA for complete eligibility details. Please review all of the following information before completing any application materials. 

Do you know of any organizations that might be interested? Feel free to pass along our flyer

Request for Applications

  • RFA: Cohort 2 
  • Note
    • Federally designated rural health clinics (RHCs) are eligible regardless of their zip code. 
    • Clinics do not need to have any patients served by Premera in order to apply. 
    • Organizations applying on behalf of multiple sites should submit separate applications for each site. 

Application Materials

Submitting Applications

Frequently Asked Questions

Refer to the below document for answers to several common inquiries. 


The AIMS Center hosted a webinar for potential applicants on June 18. View the recording below for a summary of the opportunity and answers to live inquiries from attendees.


Cohort 1

Congratulations to the 9 primary care clinics selected through a competitive process to participate in the first cohort of the Rural Mental Health Integration Initiative! The following clinics are committed to implementing high quality, evidence-based integrated care in their rural communities:

Last updated: 5/7/2020

1. High Anxiety in America over COVID-19 - MedScape - Mar 28, 2020.

2. Archer, J. et al. (2012) Collaborative care for people with anxiety and depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Issue 10. Art. No.: CD006525. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006525.pub2

3. Fortney, J. et al. (2013) Practice-based versus telemedicine-based collaborative care for depression in rural federally qualified health centers: a pragmatic randomized comparative effectiveness trial. 

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