The recent guest column on mental health [“How to achieve better mental health care for lower costs in Obamacare,” Opinion, Jan. 12] calls attention to an incredible opportunity the state has to create powerful change in the lives of our patients.
As one of the community health clinics that has participated in the Mental Health Integration Program for the last six years, we have seen people with very challenging mental health and physical conditions achieve stability, productivity and success in their lives.
For parents, this also means huge improvements in the lives of their children. We have thousands of success stories, including a high-risk pregnant woman with depression who was able to get started on the right foot in her new life as a mother; and a homeless veteran with sobriety struggles, who was able to get housing and go back to school.
The benefits to their lives are priceless, and our communities benefit too. Let’s hope the state Legislature understands these benefits and expands the integration of behavioral health with primary care to help more people and communities.
Debra Morrison, behavioral health program manager, Neighborcare Health