By Stephanie Motter | December 2016
Health isn’t merely a physical phenomenon; it’s a way of being. Behavioral and physical health are inexorably entwined. Decades of research show that environmental and social factors play tremendous roles in overall health.,
Mind and body work together, and there are dire consequences to severing the two.
But integrating them has proven challenging. Primary care providers have not been encouraged–or paid–to work with behavioral health professionals because of the current system’s design. So they focus on treating sickness rather than supporting health.
The result: a culture that artificially carves out behavioral health, that separates mind from body. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Health is health
As a society, we have for too long approached mind and body health separately. To combat that, we want to work with more employers to break down those silos. We want to understand wellness goals for their own populations, partner with local employers and help them achieve more through prevention and the integration of behavioral health and primary care.
We also support whole-person health via access to behavioral health services. West Springs Hospital–the only psychiatric hospital on Colorado’s Western Slope–is in the Monument Health network.
In addition, all of our primary care practices provide wellness assessments to identify potential behavioral health issues early. Some even have a behavioral health professional onsite, ready to step into the exam room as needed. No red tape. Just appropriate care.
This is good for both patient and community: We can help before the problem becomes more serious, more dangerous and more costly.
The cost of siloed care
Reconnecting body and mind and taking a holistic approach to health is the right thing to do, from a patient-centered standpoint and a business perspective. Research suggests psychological well-being correlates directly with performance and productivity.,
It comes down to this: The patient, the community member, the employee must be at the center and engaged in their own care. This isn’t just some detail buried in the benefits package. This is fundamental to Monument Health’s philosophy.