Accessing mental health care is a focus of NAMI Utah. However, helping people with serious mental illness access health care is also a critical need. People with serious mental illness in Utah lose almost three decades of life (27 years on average) due to lack of treatment and availability of services compared to the general population of the state. Specialty mental health providers often have difficulty providing adequate medical care to consumers with co-existing mental and physical illnesses. One solution to this problem is to treat both health and mental health in an integrated manner in a primary care setting. This concept is referred to as “Mental Health Integration.”
The Whole Health Initiative project is a community collaboration adapted from Intermountain Healthcare’s Mental Health Integration Model. Community partners include: the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Salt Lake County, Intermountain Healthcare, the Utah State Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Valley Mental Health, and the Utah State Health Department.
The Whole Health Initiative was developed in order to 1) integrate mental health and physical health care in a single site, and 2) to deliver behavioral healthcare services in an innovative, cost-effective manner.
The Whole Health Initiative is sited at three primary health clinics. The patients meet with the eligibility team to determine if they are eligible for Medicaid or PCN and receive assistance in their applications. The clinics treat people who are eligible for Medicaid or PCN, are uninsured or underinsured.
In addition to the health services usually provided at the clinic, patients will be universally screened with standardized instruments to detect the need for mental health services. When mental health conditions are identified, patients will receive behavioral health services based on severity of need:
Based on their preference and clinical need, treatment will include services provided by the following team:
For more information about the Whole Health Initiative, contact Rebecca at
For more information about Intermountain Healthcare’s Mental Health Integration program.
We all need nutrition to support our bodies. A poor diet equals poor health, contributing to obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes - conditions that many people living with mental illness are at a high risk of developing. Nutrition is important for everyone. If you are living with mental illness, eating well is especially important for you, because what you eat can affect your daily life, mood and energy level. Healthy eating is not about being thin or deprivation. Healthy eating is about feeling good, having more energy, participating in your recovery and mapping out your future. Simply put, healthy eating is one of the best things you can do to improve wellness. Dietary guidelines set by the USDA state that a healthy diet is one that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat free or low fat milk products. A healthy diet should include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts. Be sure to limit saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars. Lear more about the U.S. government's guidlelines by reveiwing the food pyramid: mypyramid.gov.