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Three Ways to Increase Access to Mental Health Services

State legislators and policy makers should work with groups representing psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health experts to create informed solutions that:

Number One

Encourage mental health professionals to work in underserved communities, either through financial incentives or technology like teleheath.

  • Connect patients with clinicians for talk and behavioral therapy
  • Connect patients who need prescriptions with psychiatrists and other medical prescribers who can safely prescribe and protect against harmful drug interactions
Number Two

Fund community outreach programs that increase awareness of existing mental health services.

  • Prevent and respond to mental health crises through the funding and implementation of the 988 Mental Health Crisis Hotline
  • Reduce the number of people who become incarcerated unnecessarily instead of receiving the mental health care they need
Number Three

Encourage clinicians to work together.

  • Provide comprehensive care that meet patient needs, using integrated care models that are proven to get results like the Collaborative Care Model
  • Increase communication between a patient’s many clinicians so information isn’t siloed
  • Ensure a medically trained clinician, such as a psychiatrist or other licensed medical doctor, is available when a patient needs medications

The Collaborative Care Model

The Collaborative Care Model is a proven way for patients to receive psychiatric care in primary care and other healthcare settings in a way that’s timely, effective, affordable, and less stigmatizing. Watch the video to learn how it works.

Expanding Access through Telehealth

Telehealth is a proven strategy that can connect more people with psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental healthcare providers. Download the pdf to learn what state legislatures can do to expand access to psychiatric care through telehealth.