Increase access to evidence-based treatments for substance use disorders and mental health in specialty and primary care.

We must expand effective identification and treatment of behavioral health conditions in primary care. Effective care models exist to treat many individuals with mental health and substance use conditions in primary care. Public and private stakeholders—policymakers, payers, accreditors, and others—should take the steps needed to make these effective practices the standard of care. One evidence-based approach to addressing behavioral health in primary care is the Collaborative Care Model.

Ms. Linda Rosenberg

We must also require measurement-based care in both behavioral health and primary care systems to qualify for maximum reimbursement. Measurement-based care requires that clinicians administer symptom rating scales routinely to the individuals they serve and use the results to drive clinical decision-making for individuals in their care.  

Finally, we must make telemental health services accessible, reimbursable, and permanent, especially for rural and underserved communities. 


Advancing Priority 2

Ensuring people have access to care—when and where they need it—is critical to the overall health and well-being of Americans. The National Response is advocating for the permanent use of technology to increase access to screening, treatment, and primary care, especially for hard-to-reach communities.

A hard look at the landscape is helping to identify effective Collaborative Care Models that can be replicated nationwide, measurement-based care in mental health addictions and reimbursement, and win-win public-private partnerships with companies that innovate in electronic health records. Funding and legislation are needed to institutionalize and set these strategies up for success, including making telemental health services for behavioral health care permanently accessible and reimbursed as a covered service.  


Priority 2 Work Group

Priority 2 is one of six strategic imperatives the National Response has identified to help transform mental health and suicide prevention nationwide in the wake of the pandemic and beyond. 

The co-leaders of the multi-sector Priority 2 Work Group are: 

  • Ms. Karen Johnson, Senior Vice President, Clinical Services and Division Compliance Officer, Behavioral Health Division, Universal Health Services, Inc. 
  • Ms. Linda Rosenberg, Director of External Relations, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University
  • Dr. Michael Schoenbaum, Senior Advisor, Mental Health Services, Epidemiology, and Economics, National Institute of Mental Health

Please visit this page often for progress updates and for information on how you can get involved

Star logo

Take Action

All Americans—and all sectors of society—can help promote mental health and suicide prevention.

Take Action Now