MICHIGAN: Michigan Providers Seek to Improve Whole Communities by Integrating Behavioral and Physical Health

August 02, 2019
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
State:  Michigan

Second Wave Michigan

Michigan is taking steps to integrate its behavioral and physical health care. Later this year, the state Department of Health and Human Services plans to roll out a pilot effort to help ensure medical providers have information on their patients' behavioral health needs. By improving coordination of care, the state hopes to increase access to treatment for people with mental health and substance use issues. Another effort, the Integrated Health Scholarship Program at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, trains providers to help advance the integrated care model. According to experts, coordinated care can help decrease wait times for services, increase referrals to community-based supports, and address discrimination associated with mental illness. “Integrated health really is about understanding that when we speak of health issues, diabetes, heart disease, any of that, it’s not just a physical illness,” said Randolph Rasch, dean of the Michigan State University College of Nursing. “However we feel physically, our minds and emotions are involved as well. All human beings have behavioral health.”

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