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Soc Work Health Care. 2018 Dec 27:1-15. doi: 10.1080/00981389.2018.1556977. [Epub ahead of print]

Identifying and managing depression through collaborative care: expanding social work's impact.

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a Social work and Community Health , Rush University Medical Center , Chicago , Illinois , USA.


While behavioral health symptoms commonly present in primary care, most primary care providers lack the time, resources, and expertise to identify and treat them on their own. To address this need, many quality improvement efforts are underway to expand teams and integrate behavioral health assessments and interventions into primary care. Due to their expertise in behavioral health, community supports, and behavioral activation, social workers are natural leaders in integrating care. This paper describes one urban academic medical center's efforts to ensure adolescent and adult patients with depressive symptoms are connected to adequate care and support. A case study is included to demonstrate the Collaborative Care Team model as described, including details regarding the role social workers play. Key quality improvement and policy considerations for scaling up and sustaining collaborative initiative are included.


Depression; health care; mental health; psychosocial intervention; social work

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