Boosting Access to Mental Health Care during Pandemic and Beyond

December 11, 2020

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

AMA News

Physician organizations are working to integrate primary and behavioral health care across the country. Physical and behavioral health are interconnected and need to be addressed side by side, explained Amy Mullins, medical director of quality and science at the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). In collaboration with AAFP and other national partners, the American Medical Association is leading the Behavioral Health Integration Collaborative to help primary care practices incorporate behavioral health services. The collaborative has put together a webinar series to help practices overcome obstacles to integration, with plans to release a set of guidelines for them to follow. “[I]t’s really hard to control a patient’s diabetes or high blood pressure if we’re not addressing the behavioral health needs first,” Mullins said. “That is why this [effort] is so important.”

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