Integrated care addresses the issue of receiving quality mental health treatment for depression within a primary care setting.Since most rural Americans obtain their mental health care through primary care providers, rather than specialty mental health providers, one focus of the WICHE MHP is to expand knowledge around supporting adoption of evidence-based practices in primary care and the potential impact of such adoption on health outcomes for the consumer.
Seven good reasons for Integrating mental health into primary care:
- The burden of mental disorders is great.
- Mental and physical health problems are interwoven.
- The treatment gap for mental disorders is enormous.
- Primary care for mental health enhances access.
- Primary care for mental health promotes respect of human rights.
- Primary care for mental health is affordable and cost effective.
- Primary care for mental health generates good health outcomes.
(taken from Integrating mental health into primary care: A global perspective, World Health Organization and World Organization of Family Doctors, 2008)
Mental Health First Aid Training
What do MHFA participants learn?
MHFA participants learn a 5-step procedure for recognizing and assisting people who are experiencing mental health problems or crises, while being introduced to the risk factors and warning signs of specific illnesses such as anxiety, depression, psychosis and addiction. Like CPR training, MHFA trains members of the public to provide support services until professional mental health care is available.
Who would benefit from MHFA training?
MHFA targets a wide audience, and aims to educate members of the public on how to support someone who is developing a mental health problem or is in a crisis situation (e.g., someone contemplating suicide). Individuals who might benefit from MHFA training include: first responders (police, EMT personnel), teachers, students, faith communities, and health professionals (nurses, physician assistants, primary care doctors). MHFA training is meant for the general public as well, and does not require any background knowledge about mental health.
Is there any evidence behind MHFA?
MHFA has been shown to be effective in improving participants’ knowledge of mental disorders, reducing stigma, and increasing the amount of help provided to others. Individuals who have undergone MHFA training show better identification of mental health disorders, greater likelihood of advising individuals to seek professional help, decreases in stigmatizing attitudes, and improved mental health in the participants themselves.
How can I get MHFA training in my area?
The WICHE Mental Health Program has five Certified MHFA Instructors who are available to provide MHFA training in interested communities. For additional information or to schedule a training in your area, please contact: Mimi McFaul, 303.541.0288, firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, contact the National Council if you are interested in becoming an MHFA Instructor.