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Focus on Mental Health

from AAFP

May is Mental Health Month. Health is Primary has some great resources for you and your patients: Click here.

Mental health is a critical aspect of a patient's overall well-being. At least one in every five adults suffers from mental illness each year. Depression is the most common type of mental illness, affecting more than 26 percent of the U.S. adult population. Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions and die earlier than others - often due to treatable medical conditions. Primary care is an important place for patients to address mental health issues. Increasingly, primary care practices are integrating mental and behavior health as part of an effort to treat the whole patient. Under this approach primary care teams and behavioral health specialists work hand in hand to share patient medical records, treatment plans and manage all aspects – mind and body – of their patients' healthcare needs.

Evidence has shown that mental disorders, especially depressive disorders, are strongly related to the occurrence, successful treatment, and course of many chronic diseases including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and obesity and many risk behaviors for chronic disease; such as, physical inactivity, smoking, excessive drinking and insufficient sleep.

Family physicians are an important and currently underutilized resource for improving access to mental health care. Thank you for helping narrow the gap! more

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