Barriers to and facilitators of initiation and retention in behavioral health services in Cape May County, New Jersey
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Mental illness is shown to increase healthcare costs and decrease quality and length of life. Barriers to access care must be removed in order to help increase access to vital behavioral health services. This project is a mixed methodology study including a retrospective chart review and qualitative analysis of barriers to access to care. The researcher worked with Dr. Carl Vaccaro, DO at the AtlantiCare Primary Care Plus practice in North Cape May, NJ to identify barriers to access to behavioral health care for patients aged 18 and over referred from the primary care setting. The patients participating in the study all had a behavioral health diagnosis identified by the primary care provider. The researcher also worked with the provider to identify real and perceived structural and attitudinal barriers to referring patients for behavioral health services in this area. Several attitudinal and structural barriers were identified as a result of this research. Once barriers were identified, the researcher provided a report to the AtlantiCare organization that included the barriers as well as evidence-based interventions to address the barriers.
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