Integration of Primary Health Care and Mental Health Care Essay

2666 WordsJul 15, 201311 Pages
Final Draft Bradley J. York Western Governor’s University Abstract Physical health of patients who have a mental illness continues to be much worse than that of patients who do not have a mental illness. Ways to improve the physical health of patients with a mental illness should be explored. One example of this is to research whether mental health and primary health care should be integrated within the primary health care setting. Much research has been conducted which proves that integration of mental health and primary health care is beneficial because it leads to improved outcomes for patients, reduced medical costs, increased provider satisfaction, and reduced stigma associated with having a mental health disorder. The author of this paper performed a literature review of integrated mental health and primary health care research to determine whether integration leads to the above listed results. Keywords: Integrated health care, mental health care, primary health care, patient outcomes, medical costs, provider satisfaction, stigma Mental illness affects many people in our society. One out of seventeen adults in America has a diagnosable serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depressive disorder. (NAMI, 2011.). A patient diagnosed with schizophrenia is two times more likely to die than a person without schizophrenia of the same age. (Maj, M., 2008.). A patient with schizophrenia is four times more likely to die from a preventable cause than a person without schizophrenia of the same age. (Maj, M., 2008). Less than 1/3 of adults and less than 1/2 of minors with a diagnosable mental illness receive regular treatment from a mental health provider. (NAMI, 2011.). However, 68 % of patients with a diagnosable mental illness will seek care from a primary health care provider. (Gunn, W. and Blount, A.,

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