Treatment Tools and Training

When a patient feels comfortable enough to approach the topic, it’s every doctor’s goal to provide patients with good options for getting help. Many simpler psychiatric illnesses can be treated in the context of non-psychiatric medical practice, especially anxiety and depressive disorders. There are also opportunities to detect significant psychiatric illness and to make appropriate referrals. Please take advantage of the resources below.

Barriers to Physical Health In Adults and Older Adults With Serious Mental Illness (PDF)
A 2010 report developed by the Health Services Research Center, in collaboration with San Diego County Adult and Older Adult Mental Health Services, that assessed the need for physical and mental health services integration.

Talking With Your Adult Patients About Alcohol, Drug, and/or Mental Health Problems (PDF)
A discussion guide for primary health care providers developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The Macarthur Initiative on Depression and Primary Care- Resources for Clinicians
This website offers a comprehensive range of materials to make a difference in the primary care management of depression. The Tool Kit includes easy to use instruments and information sources to assist with recognizing and diagnosing depression; educating patients about depression, assessing treatment preferences, engaging their participation and explaining the process of care; using evidence-based guidelines and management tools for treating depression; and monitoring patient response to treatment. Although the Initiative is no longer funded, the Tool Kit and research remain available.
Quick Links:
Tool Kit (PDF)

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Resources for Clinicians
Nonpharmacological Versus Pharmacological Treatment for Patients With Major Depressive Disorder: Current State of the Evidence (PDF)
A 2016 clinician summary of a systematic review evaluating the evidence regarding second-generation antidepressants and of exercise, complementary and alternative medicine options.

The “Action Signs” Project – A Toolkit To Help Health Professionals Identify Children At Behavioral and Emotional Risk (PDF)
The action signs are a set of indicators of potentially serious emotional, mental or behavioral difficulty. The toolkit is for parents, educators and health professionals and is from the Reach Institute. It includes sample posters for use in physician’s offices and informational handouts for parents and youth. The toolkit also includes sample scripts and guidelines for introducing a discussion of the Action Signs, issues related to making a mental health referral, and a list of referral resources.

Partners in Health: Primary Care/County Mental Health Collaboration Tool Kit (PDF)
This Tool Kit was developed by the Integrated Behavioral Health Project (IBHP), a strategic initiative of The California Endowment and Tides Center, to provide action steps to facilitate integrating behavioral health services and primary care throughout California.

The Synthesis Project- Mental disorders and medical comorbidity (PDF)
Published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this synthesis presents evidence that persons with comorbid mental and medical conditions are most likely to incur high costs and to receive poor quality of care. It addresses questions such as:

  1. What is the rate of comorbidity between medical and mental conditions and why is it so common?
  2. What are the associated mortality, quality of care, and cost burdens of comorbidity?
  3. What are the current evidence-based approaches for addressing comorbidity?