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Internists Support Increased Access to Behavioral and Mental Health Services for Veterans
Statement attributable to:
Jack Ende, MD, MACP
President, American College of Physicians
Washington, DC (January 11, 2018)—The American College of Physicians (ACP) believes that behavioral and mental health services are a vital component of treating a patient’s whole health. We support President Trump’s recently signed executive order calling for increased access to and coverage for mental health services for veterans who are transitioning to post-military life.
However, as outlined in ACP’s paper, The Integration of Care for Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Other Behavioral Health Conditions into Primary Care, we also call on the Administration to ensure, better integration of behavioral and mental health services into primary care. Most patients with behavioral health needs use the primary care office as their main source of care, and given the nation's shortage of behavioral health providers, this may be the only setting in which behavioral health problems can be broadly recognized and treated. We urge the administration in implementing this order to keep in mind the growing body of evidence that supports the effectiveness of integrating behavioral health into primary care.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 152,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.
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