Getting Started:
How to Improve

Learn about the Model for Improvement, forming the improvement team, setting aims, establishing measures, and selecting and testing changes. Go to How to Improve.

​Related Topics

Triple Aim for Populations

Behavioral Health

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.  

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Other Resources

Where Is the Frontier in Behavioral Health Integration?
This blog post by IHI's Mara Laderman and Kedar Mate discusses four areas of innovation for integrating behavioral health into primary care.

Behavioral Health Integration Capacity Assessment Tool
This tool enables behavioral health organizations to evaluate their processes related to three approaches to integrated care: coordinate care, co-locate care, or build primary care capacity in-house. It also allows organizations to assess their existing operational and cultural infrastructure to support greater integration.

Approaches to Integrating Primary Care Services into Behavioral Health Organizations
The guide lays out a continuum of primary care and behavioral health integration, beginning with engaging individuals with severe mental illness in discussions about their physical health to full integration.

AHRQ Integration Academy 
Offering numerous resources and tools for providers and organizations to advance the integration of behavioral health and primary care, the Academy also helps connect its members with the integrated behavioral health and primary care community.

Center for Integrated Health Solutions 
Provides useful resources for providers and organizations to better meet the needs of individuals with behavioral health conditions in both behavioral health and primary care settings.

Integrated Behavioral Health Project 
The project’s mission is to accelerate the integration of behavioral health and primary care throughout California. Their website contains a virtual library for organizations interested in integrating behavioral health and medical care in a variety of settings.