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Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration

Primary care providers play a critical role in treating substance use disorders (SUD). They are also on the front line for patients’ behavioral health needs. Integrated behavioral health services can include prevention and safe and effective pain management.

HRSA supports health centers to provide integrated behavioral health services in primary health care through supplemental grant funding, technical assistance (TA), and training. Health Centers provide integrated behavioral health services by:

  • Increasing access to screening for mental health and substance use disorders.
  • Providing medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services, detoxification, and recovery support.
  • Delivering telehealth services to increase access to care for health center patients.
  • Providing screening, direct services, and referrals in systems of care designed to address behavioral health concerns.

Health Center Behavioral Health Data

According to the 2020 Uniform Data System (UDS) data, health centers:

  • Provided almost 1.25 million patients with Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) services.
  • Provided nearly 1.7 million SUD patient visits.
  • Conducted over 14 million mental health visits.
  • Approximately 95% of HRSA health centers provide mental health services.

Patients Served at Health Centers

  • Patients receiving SUD services increased by 108% from 141,569 in 2016 to 294,645 in 2020.
  • Since 2016, the percent of patients screened for depression with a documented follow-up plan increased from 60.34% to 64.21%.
  • In 2020, 13.69% of patients with major depression or dysthymia reached remission in 12 months.
  • Mental health patients increased by 40.5% from 2016 (1,788,577) to 2020 (2,512,287).
  • The number of patients receiving MAT increased 366% (from 39,075 in 2016 to 181,896 in 2020).

Behavioral Health Workforce at Health Centers

Health center employees:

  • SUD full-time employees nearly doubled from 2016 (1,163) to 2020 (2,325.29).
  • 8,362 Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA)-waivered professionals provided MAT services.

More than 16,811.24 behavioral health FTEs. This includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and SUD specialists:

  • Psychiatrists: 913.22 FTEs
  • Licensed Clinical Psychologists: 972.15 FTEs
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers: 4944.73 FTEs
  • Other Licensed Mental Health Providers: 4495.65 FTEs
  • Other Mental Health Staff: 3160.20 FTEs

Integrated Behavioral Health Services Initiatives

Learn about supplemental funding opportunities to support SUD services at HRSA health centers:

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