Over the last few years, acknowledgement of mental health disorders and their treatment rightly got a place in the limelight. Rates of anxiety and depression increased drastically in 2020 alone. Luckily, patients are not the only ones discussing the need for mental health treatment: health care experts, politicians, and more are bringing mental health issues to the forefront of health care conversations.

This increase in mental health awareness is being addressed in medical care, particularly as experts stress the connection between mental and physical health and well-being. Many health care providers are, in fact, addressing mental health needs within their practice by integrating mental health screenings into visits.

But is screening alone really enough to properly address mental health in physical care spaces? Theory tells us no: there’s too much variability in how physical and mental health interact with each other, and no guarantee that a patient will seek the care they need. What theory does tell us, and what many health care providers understand yet are not empowered to execute in practice, is that to effectively address mental health care alongside physical health, mental health treatment needs to be fully integrated into physical health care.

Read the full article about screening for mental health by Jessica Plante at Christensen Institute.