Geoffrey Boyce on How Array Is Addressing Increasing Demand for Mental Health Services


Geoffrey Boyce, CEO of Array Behavioral Care, explains how Array is responding to the increasing demand and utilization of mental health and behavioral services.

Array is looking to integrate physical and behavioral health by including aspects of behavioral care into primary care, not just into mental health clinics, said Geoffrey Boyce, CEO of Array Behavioral Care.


As rates of depression, anxiety, and substance use have increased over the past few years, how does Array approach these topics?

We've undoubtedly seen an increase in both the demand and utilization of mental health and behavioral services over the last couple of years. The way that we're really planning around it is, instead of planning around 1 in 5 Americans needing behavioral health services each year, we're now planning around a ratio of 1 in 3. So that's a pretty substantial increase, in terms of the need that we are preparing for as we're designing programs with our partners.

Additionally, we've seen an increase in the levels of the acuity of the individuals that we are seeing, and we are probably seeing the most alarming increase in acuity coming from children and adolescents who feel like it's been extremely disruptive to them. Even in our on-demand programs, we're starting to see more and more kids flowing through emergency rooms and psychiatric crisis programs with some pretty acute needs.

In order to help deal with this, some of the things that we've done is we've really developed enhanced screening protocols to more precisely assess what level of intervention does each individual need. As they come to us, we can develop tracks based on those enhanced screenings, and we've been able to pair those up with newly developed clinical programs that can offer some enhanced services based on that track, on the diagnosis type, on the acuity level. We're also starting to look at underlying comorbidities and how do we design clinical programs that address more of the whole person. A great use case is diabetes and depression—the undeniable link between those 2 things. It's been really interesting to see how we can challenge ourselves to rise to the occasion by really assessing what is just the right level of intervention and then how do we have evidence-based clinical programs to support each of those.

Other things that we're doing when we look at this increasing demand is, we have to be really thoughtful about the supply of clinicians that are available. There's a limited supply of qualified behavioral health professionals, and so we really look to design our programs in such a way that our clinicians are really practicing at the top of their license, and they're really wholly utilized with an increasingly team-based approach to what they're doing.

The other thing we're doing is we're increasingly looking to partner with primary care to integrate physical and behavioral health and to increasingly put primary care clinicians and their teams in a better position of maintaining ownership and management of the whole person by bringing in behavioral health care managers and consulting psychiatrists and some supportive therapies into primary care, not just into true mental health clinics.

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