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Promising Practices

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The Community Clinic of Maui has a fully integrated behavioral health and primary care system. At each of the clinic’s three sites there are behavioral health providers ... read more

Behavioral Health

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Family in Tropical setting

Behavioral health is the term used to describe care given to people to promote optimal emotional and social well being. It puts the emphasis on the activities of living rather than a state of mind, in contrast to the term “mental health.” For a population of recent immigrant, non-majority culture families living in poverty, neither term may resonate. Migrant clinicians in the field are working to provide the highest standard of behavioral health care using practices and language that are supportive of the patient’s personal experiences. MCN presents materials here that promote integrated behavioral health practices in primary care that address the complex social, cultural, economic, and justice factors that contribute to disease burden.

The United States is currently seeing an increase in immigrants as well as people seeking refugee status. In 1970, immigrants made up 4.7 percent of the total US population. In 2013, immigrants made up 13.1 percent of the population. People are migrating to the United States for various reasons, including education and job opportunities, safety, and freedom. As we see this increase, it is important to consider the unique challenges and lifestyles of the immigrant population when it comes to their care, including when we address their behavioral health needs.