Wednesday, October 27, 2021

New collaborative care model improves access to mental health care

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PHILADELPHIA – Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health problems were on the rise across the country, but many are struggling to access the care they need. Collaborative care – a proven approach to improving psychiatric care – tackles this problem by integrating mental health professionals into the primary care setting. Penn Medicine’s collaborative care program, Penn Integrated Care (PIC), uses a centralized resource center to facilitate the management of admission, triage and referral for all patients with mental health needs. A new study, published today in the Annals of Family Medicine, suggests that this approach is effective and efficient in meeting the needs of a diverse group of patients with the full range of mental health problems seen in primary care.

“Collaborative care is a proven model for linking both physical and mental health, which is the essence of modern healthcare. Without a formalized process of patient follow-up and supportive counseling, people in need of mental health care may fall through the cracks or receive sub-optimal care, ”said corresponding author Courtney Benjamin Wolk, PhD , assistant professor of psychiatry at…

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