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Collaborative Care is a healthcare philosophy and movement that has many names, models, and definitions that often includes the provision of mental health, behavioral health and substance use services in primary care. Similar ideas include: Integrated care, Primary Care Behavioral Health, Integrated care systems, and shared care.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) published an overview of many different models and the research that supports them. The key features of Collaborative Care models are:

  • Integration of mental health professionals in primary care medical settings
  • Close collaboration between mental health and medical/nursing providers
  • Focus on treating the whole person and whole family.

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