Caring for the Whole Person

Cascadia looks at the whole person and believes that an integrated healthcare approach is the best way to serve our clients.

It’s a heart-wrenching fact: individuals who struggle with severe and persistent mental illness die 20 to 30 years sooner than those without mental illness. Just as distressing, research shows these individuals’ deaths are typically not due to mental illness, but to other health problems – hypertension, asthma, diabetes – that haven’t been adequately treated, and can be aggravated by health habits that include tobacco use, low levels of physical activity, poor nutrition and substance use.

Cascadia addresses this disparity by coordinating and administering services for:

  • Mental health
  • Substance use
  • Primary care
  • Housing

All clients will receive care from a team of healthcare specialists, composed of primary care providers and clinical specialists.

The services are comprehensive: a client completes a health screen, a risk assessment, and participates in the gathering of baseline health measures, including body mass index and blood pressure. Then, depending on the person’s needs, they may be seen by a primary care provider, enrolled in a program to quit smoking, helped to find housing, introduced to a mental health practitioner, or welcomed into a health and wellness group, among many examples.

Research suggests access to integrated primary care, mental health and substance use recovery services also help individuals avoid the need to use costly services with uncertain long-term outcomes, such as the emergency room.

The problem:

People with mental illness die earlier than the general population and have more co-occurring health conditions.

  • 68% of adults with mental illness have one or more chronic physical conditions. *
  • 1 in 5 adults with mental illness has a co-occurring substance use disorder.

The solution:

Integrated care — the coordination of mental health, substance use disorder, and primary care services — produces the best outcomes and is the most effective approach to caring for people with complex healthcare needs.

Integrated care leads to:

  • Fewer nights spent homeless
  • Fewer hospitalizations
  • Fewer nights in detox
  • Fewer emergency room visits
  • Lower cost of care
  • Better quality of life

Cascadia’s whole health care model empowers individuals as they work towards their goals and achieve recovery. It also helps us address health disparities and inequities among underserved communities.