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Fam Syst Health. 2010 Jun;28(2):78-82. doi: 10.1037/a0020341.

Primary care-mental health integration in healthcare in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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  • 1White River Junction VA Medical Center, VT, USA.


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been undergoing tremendous transformation in the past 15 years with regard to the delivery of health care. This special issue describes one aspect of this transformation of the largest health system in the U.S.; the system-wide efforts to integrate mental health treatment into the primary care setting in VA. This primary care-mental health integration (PC-MHI) is being accomplished through the central VA system support and implementation of three primary models developed in the field: the White River Colocated models, the Behavioral Health Laboratory, and TIDES (Translating Initiatives in Depression into Effective Solutions). The papers in this special issue describe the development of these models, local and regional efforts to prepare medical centers to adapt and implement PC-MHI, and the impact of the integration on mental health care in these settings. These efforts could represent a national model of PC-MHI implementation for health care systems throughout the U.S.

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