Improving the Integration of Mental Health Services in Primary Health Care at the Macro Level


Typically, individuals requiring mental health care for most moderate/mild cases are supported in primary health care (PHC), though specialist care in secondary and tertiary settings is required for more severe conditions. Given the multifaceted nature of mental health conditions, support for individuals experiencing such diagnoses also needs to be multidisciplinary and collaborative. PHC mental health services encompass a range of services, including counselling, pharmacological treatments, referrals and follow-up care, provided by health professionals in PHC settings (e.g., general practice) to treat or prevent mental health problems. This report considers the structure of international health systems and highlights the macro level strategies relevant across four different levels of integration. Consistent evidence in this review highlighted the importance of primary and secondary sector mental health care services working together. Different service providers need to respect each other’s roles, and work in a complementary way to support people with lived experience of mental illness, particularly those with more severe conditions. 


  • Tables and Figures
  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary
  • Context
  • Background
  • Aim and research questions
  • Methods
  • Findings
    • Integration in mental health
    • Mental health systems
    • Integration of PHC mental health services with secondary and teritary mental health
    • Integration of PHC mental health services with PHC physical health services
    • Integration of PHC mental health services with secondary and teritary physical health
    • Integration of PHC mental health with non-health services
    • Cost-effectiveness
    • Barriers and Facilitators
  • Summary and discussion
  • References
  • Appendices 

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Integrating Mental Health Counseling into Primary Care

Integrated Primary Care: Bringing Mental Health Care to those Who Need It - Dr. Pomerantz