As more medical practices implement a collaborative approach to healthcare, mental health patients receive better access to professionals with a social work degree, counseling degree, or psychology degree.

Collaborative Care: Increasing Career Options for Those With a Psychology DegreeIt’s estimated that only about 25% of the individuals suffering from depression and other common mental disorders are receiving the care they need.* This gap, coupled with the high costs associated with healthcare, has led many medical practices to adapt a collaborative approach to treatment—offering physical and behavioral health services, all under one roof.

Under the collaborative care model, primary care physicians, mental health providers, and case managers work together to care for patients. This collaborative approach helps to lower costs and ensure the services, medications, and treatments patients receive are well coordinated. As an added benefit, this model of healthcare has opened new doors for those contemplating a social work degree, counseling degree, or psychology degree—both in online learning and traditional higher education settings.

Unfortunately, not all collaborative medical practices currently include mental or behavioral healthcare coverage, though data has shown how beneficial it can be. One particular study examined the need for mental healthcare services to be integrated into a collaborative care model for Medicaid patients, and found that:*

  1. Of patients with mental health disorders, only 20% are in the care of a mental health specialist.
  2. When patients with more common mental health issues, such as depression, are cared for under a collaborative system, it is more effective and cost-efficient than conventional care.
  3. When patients’ antidepressant medications are prescribed by their primary care physician as opposed to a psychiatrist, only 20% show substantial clinical improvements.

The types of mental healthcare providers within a collaborative practice can vary, depending on the type of care needs, but might include professionals who hold an MS in Addiction Counseling, MS in Psychology, PhD in Social Work, Doctor of Social Work (DSW), or PhD in Psychology. By combining these highly trained behavioral health providers with a team of medical specialists, patients are more likely to receive care that might otherwise have been neglected. The result? Healthier individuals—both physically and mentally.

*The Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, Health Home Brief, The Collaborative Care Model: An Approach for Integrating Physical and Mental Health Care in Medicaid Health Homes, May, 2013. On the Internet at www.medicaid.gov/State-Resource-Center/Medicaid-State-Technical-Assistance/Health-Homes-Technical-Assistance/Downloads/HH-IRC-Collaborative-5-13.pdf.

Man researching online education on laptop
Request Free Information
Request Free Information

Fill out this form to get free information on courses, admissions and financial aid from your personal advisor.


Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.

Fill out this form to get free information on courses, admissions and financial aid from your personal advisor.


Please use our Domestic Form if you live in the U.S.
*Required Field
Academic Interests
Required
Required
Contact Information
Required
Required
Invalid email address
Please provide a valid phone number
Required
Please provide a valid zipcode
Required
Additional Information
Required
Submit

By submitting this form, I understand and agree that Walden University may contact me via email, text, telephone, and prerecorded message regarding furthering my education and that calls may be generated using automated technology. You may opt out at any time. Please view our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Required