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Tackling America’s Mental Health and Addiction Crisis Through Primary Care Integration

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Join us for the release of a new report by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Behavioral Health Integration Task Force that offers a roadmap to advance the integration of behavioral health and primary care. The recommendations address barriers to integration through improving payment delivery, expanding and training the behavioral health workforce, and removing obstacles to telehealth and technology.

This report is timely as the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan provides bold investments in the nation’s mental health and substance use response. Prioritizing resources to integration as outlined in BPC’s task force recommendations is the next step to ensuring meaningful progress toward a higher-quality and cost-effective health care system.

The COVID-19 pandemic is driving mental health problems and surges in drug overdose deaths in the United States. Even before this spike, many people went untreated. This underscores the critical need for more appropriate and timely diagnosis, treatment, and support. In order to meet this growing unmet need for screening and treatment, it is imperative to advance the integration of behavioral health and primary care services. Research shows that integration enhances access to care, improves treatment outcomes, reduces health disparities, and is cost-effective.

Featured Participants


Benjamin F. Miller, Psy.D.
Chief Strategy Officer, Well Being Trust

Brandon Skidmore
Senior Program Officer, Sunflower Foundation

Fireside chat:

Anita Burgos, Ph.D.
Senior Policy Analyst, BPC; Caregiver

Kenna Chic
Former President, Project Lighthouse Peer Support System; Task Force Member

Discussion with Task Force Members:

Regina Benjamin, M.D.
18th U.S. Surgeon General; Founder and CEO, Bayou Clinic, Inc.

Richard G. Frank, Ph.D.
Margaret T. Morris Professor of Health Economics, Harvard University

Patrick Kennedy
Former U.S. Representative; Founder, The Kennedy Forum

John. E. Sununu
Former U.S. Senator

Moderated by:

Sheila P. Burke, RN
Chair, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Baker Donelson Berman & Berkowitz; Fellow, BPC

BPC also recognizes Primary Care Collaborative, which is releasing a report today on integrating primary care and oral health. In addition to our report, this is important to the conversation surrounding the need for integrating additional health services and primary care.

In light of restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, BPC events have shifted to all remote formats, such as video teleconferences or calls.

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