Team Based Care for Solving the Mental Health Crisis

Team-based care is an approach where physical and behavioral health are supported by an integrated team of caregivers all working together.

Why is this important?

When you look at the statistics, they are alarming: More than 300 million people worldwide live with depression, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), with an 18 percent increase from 2005 to 2015. Add to this the global economic loss due to lost productivity from mental illness, which exceeds $1 trillion a year. 

Integrated Team-Based Care for Mental Health

What is Intermountain doing? Intermountain Healthcare is taking an integrated team-based approach to mental health, which means that physical and behavioral health are supported by an integrated team of caregivers all working together. This team-based approach to care has been shown to improve quality for patients and generate cost savings. 
How can team-based care make a difference? For the last 19 years, Intermountain has pursued holistic care, which means that within our clinical settings, we’ve trained care teams to perform team-based care and mental health integration for patients. The majority of Intermountain’s clinics have achieved high levels of team-based care in practice, with 80 percent of mental health care being provided by primary care physicians, and supported by integrated teams of mental health professionals.   
With a worldwide challenge in mental health care, investment lies in educating and training our healthcare professionals in team-based care, providing them with the tools, skills, and resources needed to become experts in integrating mental and physical healthcare.  
Intermountain treats patients in primary care settings through high-performing, integrated care teams. Properly identifying, diagnosing, and treating mental health disorders is an essential part of the clinic care process.   
The results have been notably positive:  
The team-based care model had higher rates of active depression screening — 46.1 vs. 24.1 percent 
A lower rate of emergency room visits — a 23 percent reduction 
A lower rate of hospital admissions — a 10.6 percent reduction 
Lower cost of care to communities — a savings of 3.3 percent 
Better patient care through improved care management — primary care physician encounters reduced by 7 percent, with more patients receiving focused care 
The objectives of mental health integration are to deliver the highest quality of care at the lowest possible cost to patients. The most effective way to do this is through high-performing, integrated care teams executing key principles of team-based care.  

How is Intermountain working with other organizations?

Intermountain has worked with many organizations throughout the country to support their efforts. The results have been impressive and inspiring: increasing levels of screening and identification, improved process execution, enhanced care coordination, communication, and team support, and achieving better patient outcomes and cost savings.

We offer the "know-how" that comes from years of trial and error. As a result of this cumulative experience, our tools, processes, and resources have become refined to meet the needs of today's dynamic clinical teams.

Join us in solving the mental health crisis. We know that every $1 invested in treatment for depression and anxiety leads to a return of $4 in better health and ability to work, according to WHO. Please join us in improving the well-being of patients and our communities through integrated team-based care. Together, our collective expertise and interest can work toward finding lasting, meaningful solutions in addressing the current healthcare conundrum. 

For more information and tools for other healthcare providers, contact Scott Hammer, Intermountain project manager for Mental Health Integration (MHI) at