Primary care providers are well positioned to screen, diagnose and treat behavioral health disorders, including mental illness and substance use disorders — two major public health challenges in the United States. But current education programs do not adequately train these providers in evidence-based best practices. The National Center for Integrated Behavioral Health (NCIBH) at Mayo Clinic, supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), advances the delivery of integrated care for mental health and substance use disorders in primary care.

Persistent workforce challenges, misaligned incentives, and structural barriers including fragmented patterns of care, stigma and financial obstacles all contribute to inadequate detection and treatment of behavioral health disorders, and thus perpetuate disparities for many people.

The NCIBH prepares primary care providers with the expertise and tools to provide leadership for integrated behavioral health (IBH) care.

Because primary care providers often have ongoing, trust-based relationships with their patients and see them regularly, there is a critical need to enhance these providers' ability to provide behavioral health care by identifying mental health and substance use disorders and making the appropriate recommendations.

Implementing IBH into the primary care setting can:

  • Increase availability of behavioral health services
  • Improve population health
  • Reduce health care costs
  • Provide support to address patients' behavioral health needs in a single setting
  • Reduce negative impacts on physical health
  • Improve clinical outcomes and increase satisfaction with care through an integrated care model

The objectives of the NCIBH are to:

  • Identify and disseminate best practices of integrated behavioral health training in primary care
  • Enable implementation of integrated behavioral health training and models in primary care practice
  • Facilitate education and research best practices through information exchange by building a community of innovators and adopters

This website is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $749,962 for period 07/01/2020 - 06/30/2021. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.