Integrated Care for Mental Health
Mental health is a primary determinant of overall well-being and deserves as much priority and care as physical health. Unfortunately, many healthcare approaches divide wellness into different categories and treat them individually. However, the underlying relationship between all facets of health means you can’t treat one thing without considering another. Integrated care for mental health recognizes the intrinsic connection and builds treatment plans around this fundamental understanding.
Co-occurring disorders, or the presence of both mental illness and substance use disorder, are a primary example of the need for integrated care. An estimated 19.4 million U.S. adults, or 7.6% of the adult population, experiences both mental illness and substance use disorder. However, only 6.6% of these individuals receive specialized, comprehensive care for both their mental health and substance use disorder.1
Integrated care for mental health is the most effective way to address mental health problems. Any treatment that doesn’t take a comprehensive, integrated approach to care leaves much on the table. This is especially true for individuals struggling with mental health disorders. Mental health is closely tied to physical health, emotional health, spiritual health, and more. What is integrated care, what does it involve, and how can you find a program that bases its approach on a comprehensive, integrated understanding of mental health?
What is Integrated Care for Mental Health?
Integrated care for mental health is a multifaceted approach that not only addresses a person’s mental health, but all aspects of their health as a whole. It includes a combination of approaches such as therapy and medication management that work together to improve mental health outcomes. It is particularly effective for individuals who are struggling with complex mental health conditions or have not responded well to other forms of treatment.
Why Integrated Care is Necessary
Traditional mental health treatment approaches typically address mental illness and its resulting symptoms. Some programs incorporate alternative modalities but most keep treatment as simple as possible. While simple is better in many cases, that doesn’t apply to mental health treatment, particularly for individuals who went through multiple treatment programs in the past.
Integrated care for mental health considers and addresses the gaps in traditional treatment programs.2 It is a more intensive treatment approach but often yields more lasting and effective results. If someone is stuck on the treatment merry-go-round, treatment programs they’ve been through in the past are likely missing out on aspects of care.
Elements of Integrated Care
Therapy is the baseline component of integrated care for mental health. All comprehensive approaches to care begin with therapy. There are many therapeutic modalities, starting with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy, narrowing down to eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing to integrated family systems (IFS). Therapy helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns, work through past trauma, and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
Medication-assisted treatment is the next primary aspect of integrated mental health care. This crucial component involves a psychiatrist or other qualified medical professional who prescribes medications to help manage symptoms or reduce cravings. For the best outcomes, medication management should always be a part of a comprehensive treatment program and never a standalone method.
Lifestyle changes are also an essential part of comprehensive mental health treatment. These may include regular exercise, a healthy diet, and stress management techniques such as meditation or yoga. Getting enough sleep, practicing good hygiene, and reducing substance use is also critical for maintaining good mental health.
Finally, alternative therapy approaches are another critical component of integrated mental health care. After establishing a solid foundation of therapy, MAT, and lifestyle changes, alternative modalities fill any remaining gaps. These include options like yoga, art therapy, music therapy, or equine therapy.
Implementing Integrated Care for Mental Health
The most important part of integrated care for mental health is understanding that effective treatment is never a one-size-fits-all approach. Recognizing the unique connections between all aspects of health is the entire purpose of comprehensive care. Each person’s treatment plan should be tailored to their unique needs and circumstances.
Implementing integrated care begins with finding a qualified mental health professional to help you develop an individualized and sustainable treatment plan. They must understand the need for a multifaceted approach if they hope to help you achieve lasting relief and recovery. Seeking comprehensive mental health treatment can be daunting, but is an essential step in improving overall well-being and quality of life.
Emerge Recovery exists to do mental healthcare differently. We recognize the need for a truly individualized plan for each person in need of services. Our unique positioning enables us to provide a genuine comprehensive approach to mental health and addiction treatment services. To learn more about the services we offer or to start developing your path to recovery, schedule a no-fee Recovery Activation Call today.
- Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration. (2022). Results from the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
- Psychiatry Online. (2020). Integrating Mental Health and Addiction Treatment into General Medical Care.
Emerge Recovery: Drug Rehab Done Differently
Too many traditional treatment facilities impose a one-size-fits-all approach to recovery. There are limitations to individualized programming when working with a large number of clients. Scaling down the client ratio is what empowers the difference at Emerge Recovery. You’re not simply another client in the center; you’re a person with dreams, goals, and desires that were stolen by drug addiction.
Emerge Recovery exists to separate you from substances, heal the things that keep you stuck in the cycle, and guide you to reconnect with what it is you want from life. You aren’t here to live in a drug-induced haze; you’re here to build a beautiful life worth living. We’re here to help you every step of the way.
Reach out to learn more about Emerge and find out how we can help you today.