The integration of primary care and behavioral health care is a growing research and policy focus. Many people with mental and substance use disorders die decades earlier than other Americans, mostly from preventable chronic medical illnesses. In addition, primary care settings are now the gateway to treatment for behavioral disorders, and primary care providers need to provide screening, treatment, and referral for patients with general medical and behavioral health needs.
To stimulate research and discussion in this critical area, Psychiatric Services is launching a new column on integrated care. The column will focus on service delivery and policy issues encountered on the general medical–psychiatric interface. Submissions are welcomed on topics related to the identification and treatment of common mental disorders in primary care settings in the public and private sectors and general medical problems in public mental health settings. Reviews of policy issues related to the care of comorbid general medical and psychiatric conditions are also welcomed, as are descriptions of current integration efforts at the local, state, or federal level. Submissions that address care integration in settings outside the United States are also encouraged.
Benjamin Druss, M.D., M.P.H., is the editor of the column. Prospective authors should contact Druss to discuss possible submissions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Column submissions, including a 100-word abstract and references, should be no more than 2,500 words. ■