Nurse practitioner mental health care in the primary context: a Californian case study
Theophilos, T, Green, R, Cashin, A 2015 'Nurse practitioner mental health care in the primary context: a Californian case study', Healthcare, vol. 3, no. 1, pp.162-171.
In America, mental health needs surpass the availability of specialized providers. This vulnerable population also has other obstacles for comprehensive care including gaps in medical coverage, stigma, economic barriers, and a geographical mal‑distribution of qualified mental health professionals. A wide availability of primary care providers, including primary care and family nurse practitioners, are well-positioned to deliver integrated mental and physical health care. A case study from a Southern California Coachella Valley primary care clinic with integrated services is used to demonstrate the much-needed approach of care to address health disparities that face low‑income immigrants, migrant workers, and others without access to specialized care centers and providers. It is argued that mental health care should be part of all holistic treatment provided by primary care and family nurse practitioners. This has implications for curricula and practice development.