Strategies for Enhancing Mental and Behavioral Health
Until now the mental health system has worked in a silo, with little evidence of care coordination across disciplines. Now, a dire combination of a shortage of trained mental health providers alongside overcrowded emergency rooms and higher rates of those with mental health and behavioral issues is prompting many hospitals to re-examine how they are treating those patients. The National Institutes of Health has published new screening guidelines and more mental health specialists are being embedded into hospital departments. In turn, many healthcare providers are placing mental health professionals into schools or local groups. Some have sought out partnerships with community organizations to increase awareness of the warning signs of depression and/or suicide. Others are investing in dedicated psychiatric emergency departments and training facilities to handle the tide of patients in their communities and connect them to the help they need.