eSolutions: Health Promotion
eSolutions is a monthly e-newsletter bringing you practical solutions and resources on primary and behavioral healthcare integration from across the United States.
One Consumer’s Experience of Integrated Care Translates to a Healthier, Brighter Future
by Laura Galbreath, Deputy Director of CIHS
Research over the past decade has revealed ominous health risks associated with mental illnesses and addictions. Individuals living with these conditions are at risk of premature death from complications from untreated, preventable chronic illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Consider that 50% of people with serious mental illness smoke, 42% are obese, and as many as 80% do not exercise regularly. Obesity and sedentary behavior are major risk factors for myriad diseases and reduced life expectancy. Facing such grave statistics, how can we make a meaningful difference? Specifically, how do integrated primary and behavioral health organizations translate existing knowledge into health promotion interventions that measurably improve health outcomes?
To start, we must think about these issues in the context of the people we serve. Instead of thinking, “how can we help our clients stop eating poorly?” we must ask, “How can we help Joe meet his goal of eating one vegetarian meal a week and walking to and from the coffee shop each day?”
Linda Andersen received such individual attention at the Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services (GCBH). A Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration program grantee, GCBH received funding from SAMHSA to integrate primary care into their behavioral health practice. When Linda came to GCBH, she was struggling with various chronic health problems such as bipolar disorder, diabetes, and high cholesterol. She was used to hearing doctors tell her what she couldn’t eat and what she shouldn’t do. She often heard, “you are going to die.” Today, Linda has lost 42 pounds, reduced her insulin levels by more than 70%, and gotten off one of her diabetes medications. She attributes her success in part to the positive reinforcement she received at GCBH. “The nurse care manger never talked down to me or said that I couldn’t do anything.” The strength-based, holistic care Linda received at GCBH empowered her to make meaningful changes in her life such as learning to recognize hunger and fullness, eating healthier foods, and the power of walking for fitness.
Linda now leads numerous GCBH wellness programs as a peer support manager. As part of its suite of services, GCBH offers emotional eating groups, exercise classes, stress reduction, nutrition classes, and more. GCBH also offers incentives — such as hygiene and beauty products donated by local businesses — to those who accomplish the goals.
So, while researchers continue to identify best practices in health promotion for people with mental illnesses and addictions, a growing number of behavioral health and primary care centers are already providing these needed services. In fact, all organizations participating in the PBHCI program provide wellness services. They know that despite grave statistics and multiple barriers, optimum health and recovery are possible.
For more information on wellness or for technical assistance from CIHS, visit www.integration.samhsa.gov. For additional information on wellness and SAMHSA’s efforts, visit SAMHSA’s wellness webpage.
Walking is a great way for people living with chronic health and behavioral health problems to get and stay fit — it is free, it can be fun, and they can do it at any time. Just two 10-minute walks a day add up to a suggested 20 minutes of low impact aerobics per day. Even if the weather is bad, a person can walk inside. In fact, Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services hosts an indoor walking club. Here are a few other ways consumers can slip in more steps:
- Get off the bus before your stop and walk the rest of the way.
- Park your car at the back of the lot.
- Walk to the coffee shop or store instead of taking the bus or driving.
- Take a meeting outside or catch up with a friend while walking around the block.
- Rake leaves in your yard or offer to rake a disabled or elderly neighbor’s yard.
- Walk around the mall – window-shopping is optional.
- Give the elevator a rest and take the stairs instead.
- Walk around your apartment complex each time you get the mail.
- Mop or vacuum to your favorite upbeat tunes.
- Walk a dog. Even if you don’t have one, you can volunteer at the local animal shelter.
Visit CIHS for more information on wellness or to access technical assistance.
SAMHSA Announces a Working Definition of “Recovery”
SAMHSA recently announced a new working definition of recovery from mental illnesses and addictions. The working definition is the product of a yearlong effort by SAMHSA and partners from the behavioral health and other fields to develop a definition that captures the essential, common experiences of those recovering from mental illness or addiction. Major guiding principles support the recovery definition.
New Federal Blueprint to Provide Integrated Care to Asians Americans
The U.S. Office of Minority Health has released Integrated Care for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders Communities: A Blueprint for Action, a blueprint for addressing the health and behavioral health needs of these populations through integrated care.
15 States Designing Approaches to Integrate Care for Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees
Fifteen states participating in the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ State Demonstrations to Integrate Care for Dual Eligible Individuals are designing person-centered approaches to better coordinate the care of Medicare-Medicaid enrollees. As the demonstration states generate resources to integrate the care of this population, the Integrated Care Resource Center is gathering and disseminating them to a broader audience.
New Depression Care Guide
The American College of Physicians recently published a Depression Care Guide to provide concise, practical information, strategies, and tools to enable busy clinicians to reduce the treatment gaps that exist for depression care in a manner tailored to their own practice settings.
Leading National Conferences Focus on Integration
The National Council Mental Health and Addictions Conference on April 15-17, 2012 in Chicago will feature a Behavioral Health/Primary Care Integration Track, as well as a Psychiatrists Summit to prepare community psychiatrists to serve in the new integrated health milieu — with insights into how to offer behavioral health services in primary care settings and how to treat common medical conditions in behavioral health settings. For more conferences and events, visit the CIHS Calendar.
Webinar on Addressing Comorbid Conditions
The National Council webinar, “Preparing for New Treatment Expectations: Addressing Comorbid Mental and Physical Conditions” recorded on January 11, highlights key findings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Synthesis Report, Mental Disorders and Medical Comorbidity, on caring for comorbid conditions. The webinar also included discussion of the TEAMcare Model and the “key ingredients” for successful clinical models that address multiple chronic conditions.
New NAMI Family Guide on Integrated Care
NAMI has released a new guide on the opportunities families have to actively participate in the integration of mental health and primary care for youth. Integrating Mental Health and Pediatric Primary Care provides families with practical information on how to become more involved in the integrated care movement to improve the quality of care their children receive.
Primary Care for All Website
The Primary Care for All Website provides information and webinars for primary care providers serving underserved populations. The website and webinars are sponsored by the National Center for Primary Care at Morehouse School of Medicine.
SBIRT and Older Adults in the Workplace
The Employee Assistance Professionals Association will host a webinar on Thursday, February 9, 2012 from 3-4:00 pm EST to discuss the consideration of age when using SBIRT in a workplace, including how to assess and treat older workers whose use of alcohol or prescription pain medications may create health and work-related problems.
CDC Guides on Implementing Chronic Disease Interventions
CDC’s Healthy Communities Program announce the release of 14 Strategic Alliance for Health Implementation Guides to help communities replicate specific evidence- and practice-based interventions that reduce the burden of chronic disease and create policy, systems, or environmental changes such as increasing access to healthy foods and beverages in schools.
12 for 2012: Prevention Institute’s Most Popular Resources
Prevention Institute has posted its 12 for 2012 most popular resources, which includes publications, tools, and resources to help center community wellbeing around prevention.
Webinar: Fighting Obesity and Chronic Illness among People with Mental Illnesses: What Works?
Date: February 13, 2012, 1:00-2:30 pm EST
Register for webinar
To inform health promotion and wellness interventions in communities nationwide, CIHS engaged Stephen Bartels, MD, MS, and the Dartmouth Health Promotion Research Team to complete a compressive research review of nutrition and fitness interventions for people with mental illness who are obese. Dr. Bartels will discuss the research review and its implications. Participants can expect to:
- Learn about the existing research on nutrition and fitness interventions for people with serious mental illness who are overweight.
- Gain insight into the characteristics of interventions with proven success.
- Hear recommendations for integrating effective health promotion interventions to improve the health outcomes of this vulnerable population.
To receive this newsletter and other CIHS e-mail updates, click here to enter your e-mail address and select “News from the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions” from the options listed.
Our free technical assistance services can help primary and behavioral healthcare providers find integrated health solutions that work. To contact CIHS, visit www.integration.samhsa.gov, e-mail Integration@thenationalcouncil.org, or call 202.684.7457.
SAMHSA–HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions
Director: Kathy Reynolds; Deputy Directors: Laura Galbreath and Larry Fricks; eSolutions Editor: Heather Cobb
The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions, operated by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare under a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is funded jointly by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Health Resources and Services Administration. The CIHS promotes the development of integrated primary and behavioral healthcare services to better address the needs of people with mental health and substance use conditions, whether seen in specialty behavioral health or primary care settings.