Mental Health Assessment and Service Planning
The first chapter in this book addressed the essential issue of the mind-body connection. Primary care providers (PCPs) face the challenge of providing holistic care for their patients and acknowledge that separating the body and mind is contrary to their practice. They are not afforded the opportunity to say “that’s not my area”—everything is their “area.” Chapter 2 addresses key facets of mental health assessment and collaborative practice among PCPs and psychiatric professionals. In theory, it would be ideal to have mental health specialists readily available and even more wonderful if all patients with emotional needs were willing to seek specialized mental health services. Primary care providers know it is not that simple. This chapter offers a conceptual framework and tools to aid the PCP in assessing the urgency of mental health concerns, and provides language to help ease the transition of mental health services to a specialist when necessary.