Behavioral health issues account for almost 11 percent of disease burden worldwide; in the United States alone, an estimated 18 percent of adults ages 18 and older — approximately 56 million people — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Mental disorders are one of the leading causes of disability worldwide with a huge economic toll from lost productivity and high costs of treatment. While effective treatments are available for many conditions, access to treatment is poor with many patients receiving inadequate or no treatment at all.
Fortunately there are efforts underway to improve care and close the treatment gap for patients with behavioral health issues across a variety of settings — inpatient, outpatient, and in the community. Health systems and communities are quickly realizing that an integrated behavioral health strategy is essential to achieve the Triple Aim, and that addressing behavioral health issues requires significant system changes to bring about meaningful improvement.