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The Value of Integrated Behavioral Healthcare

Written by: Lauren Strait

The Staggering Need

On the latest episode of the Health Futures podcast, host Bob Roth was joined by Rebecca Duffy, Clinical Director for Evolved MD, to discuss the importance of integrated behavioral healthcare. The numbers are staggering – around 1 in 4 adults experience a behavioral health issue, and nearly 50% of those go untreated.

For the full episode, CLICK HERE.

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Breaking Down Barriers

Evolved MD partners with primary care physician practices to embed behavioral health professionals right in the doctor’s office. This collaborative care model helps remove major barriers to accessing mental health treatment. Patients can get referred for counseling during their regular doctor visit without having to make a separate appointment or fight through insurance hassles. Cost is also no longer an obstacle, as Arizona ranks as the 15th most expensive state for mental healthcare. But with Evolved MD’s model, patients simply pay their standard copay to see an in-office counselor.

Mind & Body United

Duffy emphasized how physical and mental health are inextricably linked. Issues like poor sleep, stress, grief, and substance abuse can manifest in very real physical symptoms. An integrated approach allows providers to treat the whole patient in a coordinated way. A counselor can help address the root mental health causes of physical ailments, while a primary care physician manages corresponding medical needs.

Isolation’s Mental Toll

The isolation and loss experienced during COVID-19 took a heavy mental toll, especially among older adults. Social separation from loved ones and disruptions to daily routines exacerbated feelings of loneliness, anxiety and depression in the elderly population. Evolved MD’s services can help this vulnerable group process grief, find meaning, and regain a sense of autonomy after such a challenging period.

A Dire Trend

Sadly, the episode also highlighted sobering statistics around rising suicide rates among elderly men. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide among this demographic has seen a “steep increase” driven by profound loneliness and loss.

The Way Forward

Overall, the conversation drove home the massive need for easily accessible mental health resources in our communities. Integrated models that destigmatize and streamline behavioral care have the potential to greatly improve overall wellbeing and prevent tragic outcomes. By partnering medical and mental healthcare in a collaborative setting, we can finally start treating the whole person.

We’re here to help.

Call (602) 264-8009 or contact us to learn more about home care services.

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