Research and support for the integration of the mental and physical healthcare systems has been on the rise in recent years. The Federal Legislature, as well as many of their state counterparts, are backing legislation creating parity, or equitable insurance benefits, for mental health treatment services. Systems and institutions that have been operating entirely exclusively from eachother, are now learning to work together in response to a growing cache of research demonstrating better outcomes through an integrative approach. However, while this trend moves in a positive direction, many clients are still facing obstacles to accessing mental health services and many providers are experiencing barriers to delivering comprehensive care.
A recent publication by Peter J. Cunningham, a senior fellow at the Center for Studying Health System Change in Washington, D.C., discusses these access issues in an article published online at Health Affairs – The Policy Journal of the Health Spheres.