A comprehensive approach to behavioral health also means seeing prevention as part of an overall continuum of care. The Behavioral Health Continuum of Care Model helps us recognize that there are multiple opportunities for addressing behavioral health problems and disorders. Based on the Mental Health Intervention Spectrum, first introduced in a 1994 Institute of Medicine report, the model includes these components:
Keep in mind, however, that interventions do not always fit neatly into one category or another. For example, consider co-morbidity. If some disorders (like substance use) are risk factors for other disorders (like depression)—does that mean that all treatment can be seen as prevention? Each prom season, communities across the nation implement safe driving campaigns—are they promoting healthy lifestyles or preventing potential substance use?