National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Integrating Mental Health and Pediatric Primary Care Resource Center

Integrated care refers to the practice of incorporating mental health care into primary care settings and primary care into mental health and substance abuse care settings for the purpose of improving the quality of care. Interest in integrated care is growing and many communities have begun to pilot innovative approaches to integration that promise to provide higher quality, comprehensive and coordinated care for youth and their families.

It is important to understand what integrated care means, the benefits of integrated care, what it looks like in practice and how it impacts youth and families. This web section provides youth and families, health care providers and other stakeholders with practical information about integrated care so they can become more involved in the integrated care movement.

Resources for Families

A Family Guide: Integrating Mental Health and Pediatric Primary Care

NAMI released a new family guide on Integrating Mental Health and Pediatric Primary Care. The guide provides families with practical information about integration to help them get involved in the integrated care movement and improve the quality of care their child receives in the pediatric primary care setting. To order a hardcopy of the guide, contact Emily Cepla, Program Manager, at

National Survey on the Family Experience in Primary Care

The Family Experience with Primary Care Physicians and Staff

NAMI released a survey on family experiences with primary care doctors in treating children and adolescents living with serious mental illness. The survey responses came from parents and caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illness. The survey asked parents and caregivers a variety of questions related to their experiences discussing and addressing mental health concerns with their child's primary care physician and staff. The survey report provides a comprehensive overview of their responses, thoughts and comments.

Resources for Primary Care Providers

NAMI developed a brochure for primary care providers that includes valuable tips on how to create a primary care setting that is more welcoming to conversations about mental health, encourage open communication about mental health and take action to support families who have a child living with a mental illness. NAMI also developed a tip sheet on effective communication about mental health concerns and a fact sheet on the importance of addressing mental health concerns in the primary care setting. Information in these resources came directly from NAMI's national survey. 

Resources for Primary Care Providers to Share with Families

These resources are all available to download for free for primary care physicians and staff to display in their offices or share directly with their families.