Behavioral Health is an integral element in high quality health care and overall health status. However, based on many different factors (e.g. social norms, clinical knowledge, reimbursement systems, etc.) behavioral health care is often separate or ‘carved out’ from other health care services. The Foundation’s activity related to behavioral health is primarily focused on access to care although we have developed prevention materials related to depression and ADHD.
Efforts to improve access include a common referral form for hospitals to use in trying to locate an in-patient psychiatric bed, a web-based psychiatric bed vacancy system, promotion of tele-medicine for psychiatric assessments in emergency departments and the collection of information to document access issues in the state. A Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) Work Group is staffed by the Foundation and helps to link in-patient and community-based behavioral health services.