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Prev Chronic Dis. 2010 Jan;7(1):A21. Epub 2009 Dec 15.

Garnering partnerships to bridge gaps among mental health, health care, and public health.

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Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Augusta, Maine, USA.


Integrating mental health and public health chronic disease programs requires partnerships at all government levels. Four examples illustrate this approach: 1) a federal partnership to implement mental health and mental illness modules in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System; 2) a state partnership to improve diabetes health outcomes for people with mental illness; 3) a community-level example of a partnership with local aging and disability agencies to modify a home health service to reduce depression and improve quality of life among isolated, chronically ill seniors; and 4) a second community-level example of a partnership to promote depression screening and management and secure coverage in primary care settings. Integration of mental health and chronic disease public health programs is a challenging but essential and achievable task in protecting Americans' health.

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