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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration

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Behavioral Health

Did You Know?

  • Depression is the third most common reason for a visit to a health center after diabetes and hypertension.
  • Suicide is a major public health issue; there is 1 suicide every 15 minutes.
  • Children and youth who are bullied are more likely to be depressed, lonely, anxious, and have low self esteem and think about suicide.
  • About one in four adults suffers from a mental disorder in a given year.
  • Visits to emergency rooms involving the misuse of prescription drugs have doubled in the last five years.

Integrating Behavioral Health with Primary Medical Care

Behavioral health and physical health are inter-related and providing behavioral health care in a primary medical care setting can reduce stigma and discrimination, be cost effective and lead to improved patient outcomes. 

Programs to improve access and foster the integration of behavioral health in primary care include:

  • The Health Center Program. Nearly 70 percent of  HRSA-supported health centers provide mental health counseling and treatment; almost 40 percent provide substance abuse counseling and treatment; and close to 20 percent offer 24-hour crisis intervention services. All provide referrals to substance abuse and mental health services. About 4,000 mental/behavioral health providers work in health centers. Their services account for approximately 5 percent of patient all patient visits.
  • Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. Ryan White Part C and D programs had more than 30,000 outpatient substance abuse treatment visits in 2008-2009. Eighty-two percent of patients seen in the HIV/AIDS Part C and D programs were screened for tobacco use.
  • Health Professions Training Programs. The Graduate Psychology Education grant program, which funds schools to develop and operate training programs that prepare psychologists that to work in an environment that integrates behavioral health with primary medical care, with a focus on underserved areas and people. Area Health Education Centers work across disciplines to improve the health of underserved communities. 
  • Maternal and Child Health Programs include interdisciplinary training programs in neurodevelopmental disabilities and adolescent health and a developmental/behavioral pediatrics training program. Seventh-three percent of Health Start infant mortality reduction programs have smoking cessation programs.
  • Health Professions Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs. Psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses and other mental health professionals are eligible to apply to various programs that offer financial incentives to work in underserved areas or facilities with provider shortages.

The following is a H R S A flash movie. The movie contains a link to http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/ where you can search for health centers by location.

HRSA Find a Health Center Widget.

Find Care

Find Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or phone1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or phone 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) 

Poison Help or phone 1-800-222-1222