Community Health Plan Strategies for Improving Mental Health

Mental illness affects 60 million Americans each year, and finding and treating those in need is of paramount importance to their health, safety and ability to function in day-to-day life.

Community Health Plan Strategies for Improving Mental Health features case studies of five community health plans using their deep local knowledge and expertise to develop innovative programs to better treat those with mental illness.

The brief highlights ACHP plans’ answers to three key questions:

  1. How can we change the culture of stigma surrounding mental illness?
  2. How can we identify and reach those who need care?
  3. How can we approach treatment so that it focuses on long-term mental and physical health?

Their answers — which range from media campaigns targeting stigma to social workers reaching people outside of the doctor’s office to integrated teams creating new models to treat children — have resulted in significantly reduced emergency department admissions and hospitalizations, increased remission rates and a better quality of life.

On November 12, ACHP held a webinar to correspond with the release of the brief. Presentations included:

  • HealthPartners’ Make It OK campaign to fight mental illness stigma: Donna Zimmerman, Senior Vice President for Government and Community Relations at HealthPartners
  •  CareOregon’s Health Resilience Program that uses social workers to engage medically complex individuals with various mental and social challenges: Rebecca Ramsay, B.S.N., M.P.H. , Director of Community Care at CareOregon
  • Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan’s work to embed to behavioral case manager programs into primary care offices to ensure well-coordinated physical and mental care: Robert Holtz, M.A., M.B.A., L.M.H.C., Vice President of Behavioral Health Services at Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan

View a recording of the webinar.