Over the past decade there has been a substantial push within our healthcare system to integrate physical (primary) and mental health care. Rural areas were early adopters of this integration out of necessity since more than 80% of psychiatrists and doctoral-level psychologists reside and practice in urban areas. This chapter presents an overview of integration and describes models and barriers to integration in rural areas, providing current and best practices. Additionally, the authors look at policy initiatives affecting integration of care in rural areas and present practical strategies to do so.
Suggested citation: Lambert D, Gale J. Integrated Care in Rural Areas. In: Warren JC, Smiley KB, eds. Rural Public Health: Best Practices and Preventive Models. New York: Springer Publishing Company; 2014:67-84.