Imparting services to people with Mental Illness and individuals that are diagnosed with Intellectual Disability and Mental Illness stand out today in the US. The complex needs of persons with ID that also have co-occurring Mental Illness, and the severe and persistent emotional Disorders and related behavioral problems of millions of people in the United States have provided unprecedented opportunities and clinical challenges to professionals, service providers and systems.
Mental illness has an impact on people of all age groups. Evidence shows that mental health system has failed to reach a significant number of people with mental illness. Those it does, often drop out or get insufficient, uncoordinated care. It has, therefore, been proposed to implement an integrated behavioral health care model approach to persons with severe mental illness and individuals with dual diagnosis of Intellectual Disability and Mental illness to improve their health outcome. There is ample evidence one’s poor health will lead to poor behavioral health, and vice versa. Therefore, it is necessary to have some form of integrated care approach to dealing with the “whole” person with severe mental illness.
in Maryland, the mounting bed loss crisis had left state officials completely unprepared, according to a Baltimore Sun report in 2017. It compounds this misery by being one of only three states in the country without an assisted outpatient treatment law.
Assisted outpatient treatment programs have a proven record of success at providing care to people who have a demonstrated difficulty adhering to treatment on a voluntary basis and have experienced recurring negative outcomes because of it. In states like Ohio, New York and California, results show these programs can significantly reduce rates of hospitalization, arrest and incarceration.
An assisted outpatient treatment program could alleviate mounting systemic pressure before tragedy strikes. The establishment of such a program could also have helped avert the state’s current legal predicament by providing treatment before a scenario escalated to arrest and/or hospitalization.
There are no easy, immediate solutions to the myriad challenges posed by untreated mental illness. Any solution will require decision makers to have the courage to recognize the system’s many existing shortcomings and to take difficult steps to serve this vulnerable population.
70% of doctors’ visits stems from mental health concerns, according to Robinson and Reiter (2007). Available data suggests that an underlying mental health is often triggering these visits. Most doctors are not equipped to address the behavioral health issues that are presented by the patients. If the patient’s visit to his/her primary care doctor ends up in the treatment of mental health problems in a primary care setting, and in a similar manner, if the behavioral health setting improves the medical care of individuals with serious mental health problems, there will be combination of integration and collaboration.
Integrated behavioral health care services with primary care services offer a promising, viable and efficient way of making sure that people receive the needed and often missed mental health services. The integrative model integrates behavioral health care as part of regular primary care. It is a key path to overall health care reform in the next decade. Our redundancies in health care administrative and service delivery structures will certainly call for an integrated care approach.
ACIDD Maryland is taking a long journey with our stakeholders- professionals, care providers, families- in a collaborative model to promote integrative care services to individuals who have the dual diagnoses of developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental illness. Our mission is to advance mental wellness of body, mind and spirit of persons with developmental disabilities, and promote their excellence in behavioral health care through an integrated approach. Based on our several years of experience, the uniqueness and individual nature of recovery must be honored. Our program model is unique. We address the overall needs of an individual as a whole person. Because no single provider is sufficient for multiple services, in the State of Maryland, a well conceived and well-executed organization such as ACIDD Maryland secures a leading position in providing excellent holistic psychiatric services through a bio-psycho-social approach in these areas.
We have a social mission. We have been recently CARF accredited for our higher standards. We will soon be opening our Outpatient Mental Health Center for adults. Our quality programs and effective services are expected to help hundreds of families in their difficult journeys. At ACIDD Maryland, you have our time and attention. Read more »