The mission of Integrated Behavioral Health Partners (IBHP) is to advance and spread integrated behavioral health care in California and nationally through capacity building, training, and technical assistance. We believe we will achieve our mission and improve the health of communities through partnership and collaboration across the safety net health care sectors.
Our experience has shown us that successful care integration is much easier to conceive than to execute. Much has been written about integration of mental health and primary care as a promising vehicle for improving accessibility and quality of mental health services, and what should be done to achieve it. IBHP’s objective is to turn the “should’s” into action, to coax the transition of these recommendations from paper to practice throughout California. Through training and mutual exposure, we will help behavioral health and primary care professionals bridge the cultural chasm that exists between the two systems. We also endeavor to promote awareness and practices that encourage respect for and rights of persons with mental health challenges.
What We’ve Done
Grant-Making: As a starting place, IBHP funded nine initial demonstration projects: seven based in primary care clinics and two in regional consortia to see what components of integrated care correlate with successful results. In Phase II, IBHP awarded 16 grants to primary care clinics and clinic consortia to foster innovative projects that not only further their own integrated care programs, but offer the possibility of becoming a best practice to be replicated by others. We also awarded 11 Learner Grants to enable the participation of key primary care personnel in the training and information exchange generated in our Learning Community and Mentoring Program. In Phase III, we chose to fund specialized projects proposed by six clinics and one clinic consortia to study aspects of integrated care that we thought may advance the field.
Learning Community: To build professional skills, disseminate promising practices and encourage cross-fertilization of ideas and strategies, IBHP established on-going in-person, web-based and telephone conferences for our grantees.
Mentoring Program: IBHP partnered Learner clinic grantees with more seasoned clinics available to furnish technical assistance and advice.
Web Site: IBHP developed this and a precursor website, (www.ibhp.org) as a clearinghouse of strategies, tools, research, policy issues and other relevant information to advance the integrated behavioral health field.
Web-Based Training: In concert with the California Primary Care Association, and with The California Institute for Mental Health (CiMH) IBHP put on several free webcast series exploring various facets of integrated care for both primary care and mental health providers and administrators.
Tool Kit: IBHP developed Partners in Health: Primary Care / Mental Health Collaboration Tool Kit synthesizing advice, models, forms and other practical material to advance interface between the primary care and mental health systems.
Research and Data Collection: In conjunction with our grantees, IBHP gathered process and outcome data to provide a better understanding of the levels, approaches and effectiveness of individual integrated care models. Some preliminary findings are contained in our Phase I Evaluation Report.
Policy Advocacy: IBHP has worked with several key organizations to effect system changes needed to reduce the barriers to effective integrated behavioral health care. Among other projects, we partnered with the California Institute of Mental Health to launch the Integrated Policy Initiative (IPI). One result of that effort is the California Primary Care, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Initiative report, the product of several discussions between county and state mental health and health leaders to enhance collaborative care in California. Exploring models of integrated care throughout the State, the report makes recommendations for service delivery, finances, regulations and measurements. It also provides a suggested continuum for the health, mental health and substance use care of the safety net mental health population. Volume III, Examples describes various California integrated care demonstration projects in primary care sites funded through grants by IBHP, CMSP and CalMEND.
IBHP’s contribution to the integrative field was assessed by independent evaluators in a February 2010 report.