Millions of North Carolinians live with behavioral health issues. These include mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, ADHD and schizophrenia, as well as substance use disorders. Though physical and behavioral health are connected, care is often separate. For example, a patient may have diabetes and depression but see two different health care providers who don’t coordinate with each other. As a result, treatment plans are created in a vacuum without a full picture of the patient’s overall health. Compounding the problem: affordable behavioral health care can be difficult to come by. And social, cultural and other disparities can further limit access to care.
Can the health system make itself better?