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$10 Million to Integrate Primary and Behavioral Health Care Services

Opioid Crisis

The Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Behavioral Health is the recipient of a $10 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Valued at $2 million a year over five years, the grant will be used to provide a coordinated, comprehensive approach to improving overall wellness among Louisiana residents. The effort, known as Promoting Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health Care, is aimed at two groups: those with co-occurring mental illness and physical health conditions or chronic diseases; and those with a substance abuse disordeLouisiana Department of Healthr.

Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of the Department of Health, said primary care providers often serve as the connection for a patient to access behavioral health services.

“This award of $10 million will help Louisiana better invest in efforts to integrate primary and behavioral health,” Gee said. “Improving the coordination of primary and behavioral care for adults with mental illness, especially those with severe mental illness and substance use disorder, can improve life expectancy and chronic health conditions for Louisiana residents. This is especially true as the opioid crisis continues to place a strain on our health care system.”

The grant allows four provider organizations selected by the Office of Behavioral Health to put the integrated health care model into practice. These providers were chosen from federally qualified health centers or community mental health centers, and other qualified organizations.

The Department and SAMSHA will track health-related outcomes for people who participate and benefit from better coordinated care.

About the Louisiana Department of Health
The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. The Louisiana Department of Health includes the Office of Public Health, Office of Aging & Adult Services, Office of Behavioral Health, Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, and Healthy Louisiana (Medicaid). To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or our blog.