• Addressing the health needs of patients diagnosed with a chronic disease in a rural Alberta, Canada primary care setting

      Hesterman, Samantha J.; Gifford, Valerie; Renes, Susan; Kritzinger, Irma (2019-08)
      This comprehensive literature review presents findings associated with the need for more mental health support in rural Alberta. Integrated care with a behavioral health consultant (BHC) presents as a possible solution. Peer-reviewed literature indicates that rural residents are at a higher risk of suicide, substance abuse, depression, and other serious mental health concerns. They are often at a disadvantage when trying to access mental health support, and over 40% of patients with mental health needs will first seek treatment in a primary care setting. Positive mental health and positive health care outcomes are strongly linked to an individual’s total health, and a contributing factor to mental health concerns is the overwhelming number of people who have been diagnosed with a chronic disease. Integrated care with a BHC could help support both primary care providers and their patients by combining the professional competencies of mental health and primary care providers