mental health



Bringing together physical and mental health

1 2 3 4

5 6 7

Terminology and scope

We use the term integrated care to refer to the provision of health and care services in such

a way that ensures that the various needs of an individual using these services are met in a

co-ordinated way, with medical, social and psychological needs being addressed together.

By integration, we mean any processes that support movement towards the goal of

integrated care, as defined above. This often involves overcoming the breakdown in

communication and collaboration that can arise between different parts of the system and

different groups of professionals. Importantly, this is not limited to structural change or

organisational merger, but includes processes at all levels (Curry and Ham 2010).

We focus specifically on integration in relation to physical and mental health. More broadly,

an integrated approach to mental health could refer to a number of things, including

integration within mental health services (for example, between services for children and

adults) or integration between mental health and other public services such as housing.

These other forms of integration are not the focus of this report.

Terminology around mental health is contested. We use the terms mental health problem

to refer to any form of mental health condition (including dementia), severe mental illness

to refer specifically to conditions involving psychosis or very high levels of need, and

mental wellbeing as a more general term capturing emotional and psychological welfare

and resilience.

We use the term biopsychosocial to refer to a perspective in which health is understood

as being a product of biological, psychological and social processes, and is assessed and

managed accordingly. An integrated approach to physical and mental health implies taking

a biopsychosocial perspective.

The report does not cover the need for integration with regard to people with learning

disabilities. The inequalities experienced by people with learning disabilities in access to

care for both physical and mental health are well established – for example, see Emerson

et al (2011) – and are an important area for improvement, but are beyond the scope of the

research conducted here.


Similar magazines