Mental Health

"Now, with one in five Americans facing some type of behavioral health issue, it's clear that incremental change is no longer enough. It's time for bold thinking and even bolder action."

Rod Hochmann, MD
President and CEO,

Our nation is facing a mental health crisis. Across the U.S., more than 40 million adults have a mental health condition, and more than half of them go untreated. Stigma, gaps in care and a lack of social support hurt people who are suffering. 

Mental health affects everything in our lives, from our relationships to our education, our work to public safety. That’s why we’re creating a new model by integrating mental health treatment into our care settings, creating new partnerships to reach more people and helping people long before they’re in crisis. Here are some things we’re doing now:

Integrating mental health into care settings

We’re integrating mental health care into primary care clinics across our regions. By screening for problems, we can spot and treat them early.

For better care, we’ve created a system-wide process to treat depression. It provides guidelines for screening and assessment, care and medication, and resources for patient and family education, with a tool kit for each.

Supporting new mothers and families

In Seattle, we offer the only day program in the Pacific Northwest for mothers suffering with postpartum depression. Moms attend with their babies for therapy, medication and classes that help with family support, bonding and breastfeeding.

Also in the Seattle area, we have a program for pregnant women with substance abuse problems, the only program like it in the Puget Sound area.  We care for women in any stage of pregnancy using any substance.

In Orange County, Calif., every mom who delivers at St. Joseph Hospital is screened for postpartum depression. We offer new moms and dads counseling, bilingual/bicultural therapists and support groups.

Helping school-aged children

Half of all mental illness in the U.S. begins by age 13. This includes mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. Unfortunately, only about 20% of children receive care from a mental health specialist. Providence sees this gap and is working to provide care for more children and their families. We provide mental health clinicians or social workers in schools in Anchorage and Kodiak in Alaska, the Seattle area in Washington and in Southern California.

Reaching out to those in need

More than 106,000,000 Americans live in areas where there’s not enough mental health care. Our telepsychiatry program reaches out to underserved regions to help people in real time via videoconference.

Across our system, we’re offering Mental Health First Aid, a free course that teaches everyday people how to help others who may be developing mental illness or are in crisis.

Many loved ones feel unprepared to support family members with mental illness. Providence is working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to train thousands of family members to manage mental health issues in a Family-to-Family program. 

Going to the root of homelessness

Mental illness often is linked to homelessness and drug addiction. That’s why we’re joining with other groups to build 382 new housing units in Portland, Ore., with a medical clinic to help residents with mental illness and addiction.

In Olympia, Wash., we’re helping build a new Community Care Center to help homeless individuals get mental health care and access to many resources they need. 

Investing in long-term partnerships

Providence invested $100 million to help establish the Well Being Trust, a foundation dedicated to advancing the mental, social and spiritual health of the nation through new partnerships, grants and advocacy.