250296 Integrating mental healthcare and primary care in a rural community: A successful campus community partnership

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 1:10 PM

Emily Akerson, RN, MN, FNP-BC , Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Timothy Schulte, PsyD , Department of Graduate Psychology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
The World Health Organization states that “mental health is an integral part of health; indeed there is no health without mental health.” In a September 2010 Fact Sheet, WHO stated that “over 450 million people suffer from mental health disorders”. Access to high quality mental health care is an issue in many communities. Barriers include lack of mental health care providers, lack of integration with primary care, long waiting lists for mental health providers, stigma, and lack of health coverage for needed services. Integrating mental health care with primary care has been an important step in achieving high quality patient centered care. An innovative strategy to integrate mental health care and primary care in a remote rural community in Virginia involving an academic institution and a primary care practice will be discussed. Few mental health resources were available to community residents, and those that were available had very long waiting lists. Access to services and consultation was a significant problem. Collaboration between university faculty members and the primary care physician resulted in improved patient care outcomes and provided a rich learning opportunity for students. Doctoral students, partnered with a faculty clinician and a family practice physician, accept referrals for mental health evaluation and treatment. Regular case reviews and opportunities for consultation result in a win-win for patients, providers and student clinicians. Elements of program development and principles of partnership will be discussed allowing session participants to adapt the model to their setting.

Learning Areas:
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe a model integrating mental healthcare and primary care in a rural community to address barriers to accessing care Discuss principles of partnership, quality care measures and program development as key components to program success

Keywords: Barriers to Care, Mental Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I worked with Dr. Tim Schulte in developing this partnership.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.