Establishing Optimal Mental Health Care for Common Mental Disorders in Primary Health Care
Keywords:mental health, primary health care, common mental disorders, depression, anxiety, social determinants of health
Various definitions of health and mental health exist, however there is a generally persistent inclusion and acknowledgement of the importance of holistic elements such as environment and relationships. Integration of the physical, social, and mental aspects of an individual, through the social determinants of health is an important component in establishing the effective delivery of optimal mental health care. With increasing numbers of collaborative care teams, and mental health promotion strategies, primary health care is increasingly building its capacity to help respond to these holistic mental health care needs, with increased and more purposeful attention to the social determinants of health. Despite these steps in the right direction, a gap continues to exist in the delivery of mental health care and many people continue to struggle in accessing adequate treatment. In order to determine how best to proceed, it is important to understand what mental health is, what mental health care in primary health care looks like, what the existing challenges to the delivery of mental health care in primary health care are, and what other models have been successful in integrating the social determinants of health and mental health into the primary health care system.
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