How medical healthcare is now integrating a mental health approach

Good Things Utah

A new program at Intermountain Healthcare is helping patients when talking to their doctor about depression. The Intermountain Healthcare Mental Health Integration helps bridge medical and mental health care.

Dr. Travis Mickelson shared more about the program. Mental health has a big effect on physical health — and vice versa. Mental Health Integration (MHI) is an approach at Intermountain Healthcare to healthcare that focuses on both. One team — led by your doctor — cares for your mental and physical health needs. And it all happens right in your doctor’s office.

How it works? Your doctor uses assessments to identify your need for mental health treatment. You, your doctor, and your team then work together to design the best treatment plan for you. Your plan balances your mental and your physical healthcare needs to treat your whole health. 

Services are provided by your doctor or another MHI team member in your doctor’s office. Team members communicate with each other to make sure you’re getting the care you need. 

“The goal of our mental health integration approach at Intermountain is to treat the whole person. This allows people to receive the care they need so that they feel better,” said Dr. Travis Mickelson, medical director of the Intermountain Healthcare Mental Health Integration Program. 

“We developed a program for our teams to help people with their mental needs as we serve them medically,” he added. “Our successful treatment models are now utilized in clinics all across the nation, so more people are healthier both physically and mentally.”

A Mental Health Integration team at Intermountain may include the following caregivers:

  • You and your family: You’re the most important team member. You and your family work with your doctor to design the best care plan, and you take an active role in your own care. 
  • Your doctor: He or she is the team leader who recommends and explains a care plan, and then manages the plan with the help of your team.
  • Mental health provider: This teammate is a psychologist or social worker who provides counseling and talk therapy.
  • Care manager or health advocate: This is a nurse or medical assistant who keeps in touch with you, connects you with resources and care providers, and helps resolve problems.
  • Psychiatrist or psychiatric APRN: This team member is a doctor or nurse practitioner with special training in mental health treatment who consults on medications and complex emotional illnesses.

All team members communicate and work together. Because of this team effort, MHI has received high satisfaction and confidence ratings from patients, care providers, and clinic staff.

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This segment includes sponsored content.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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