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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 2021 Uniform Data System (UDS) data, health centers:

  • Provided almost 1.48 million patients with Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) services.
  • Provided nearly 1.7 million SUD patient visits.
  • Conducted over 15 million mental health visits.
  • Approximately 99% of HRSA health centers provide mental health services.

Patients Served at Health Centers

  • Patients receiving SUD services increased by 69.5% from 168,508 in 2017 to 285,666 in 2021.
  • Since 2017, the percent of patients screened for depression with a documented follow-up plan increased from 66.15% to 67.42%.
  • In 2021, 13.84% of patients with major depression or dysthymia reached remission in 12 months.
  • Mental health patients increased by 30% from 2017 (2,049,194) to 2021 (2,659,308).
  • The number of patients receiving MAT increased 185% (from 64,597 in 2017 to 184,379 in 2021).

Behavioral Health Workforce at Health Centers

Health center employees:

  • SUD FTEs increased 60% from 2017 (1,416.12) to 2021 (2,260.36).
  • Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA)-waivered professionals provided MAT services increased 198.2% from 2017 (2,973) to 2021 (8,869).

More than 17,414.54 behavioral health FTEs. This includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and SUD specialists:

  • Psychiatrists: 940.30 FTEs
  • Licensed Clinical Psychologists: 954.91 FTEs
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers: 5,086.83 FTEs
  • Other Licensed Mental Health Providers: 4,963.18 FTEs
  • Other Mental Health Staff: 3,208.96 FTEs

Integrated Behavioral Health Services Initiatives

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

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