Integrating Mental Health into General Health Care: Lessons From HIV
AbstractMental disorders are highly prevalent across all health settings. Where they are co-morbid with other chronic physical disorders, a complex bidirectional relationship exists between them. While mental disorders may result in an increase in adverse healthrelated outcomes, they are amenable to cost-effective treatments. In resource-limited settings, many barriers to the detection and treatment of mental disorders exist. One approach to the effective targeting of the available resources is to utilize a “risk-flag”
approach, wherein individuals at-risk of treatment failure are identified and routed into more intensive mental health screening and intervention. This paper discusses how lessons from HIV services may inform how to improve mental health care and integration in HIV settings, as well as in other chronic diseases.