It’s a relief that we’re moving toward treating mental health on equal footing as physical health, but we still have far to go [“What’s troubling mental health,” Opinion, Aug. 17].
The entrenched system of silos of care that separate the head from the body makes no sense. At community-health clinics we know that behavioral health, which encompasses mental health and substance abuse, and physical health must be addressed in both the primary care and specialty mental-health settings to be effective.
Many of our patients deal with several issues simultaneously, such as a pregnant woman with depression, or a veteran with diabetes and alcoholism. You can’t ignore half of their conditions and successfully treat the other half.
Success comes from treating the entire person. It results in better health and community outcomes, such as lower rates of homelessness and incarceration and lower costs of care.
Debra Morrison, Behavioral Health Program Manager
Neighborcare Health, Seattle