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June 19, 2019

Social and Mental Health Care Integration: The Leading Edge

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco
  • 2Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Seattle
  • 3Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle
JAMA Psychiatry. 2019;76(9):881-882. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.1148

It is now well recognized that many factors beyond medical care access and quality drive health outcomes,1 including social and economic risks (social risk factors)associated with neighborhood safety, educational attainment, housing stability, and food security. The association of social risk factors with health can be direct (eg, lead ingestion in substandard housing leads to poorer cognitive functioning) and indirect (eg, neighborhood exposure to violence in adolescence can increase chronic stress, which contributes to the development of mental illness). Whether via direct or indirect mechanisms, social risk factors shape health, health behaviors, and health care use and costs.