Behavioral Health Integration Playbook

Southcentral Foundation’s Nuka System of Care
Implementation Tool
June 2022
View the resource


Toolkit offers lessons for integrating behavioral health into primary care settings.


There is a lack of access to behavioral health services in the U.S. related to many factors, including the siloing of physical and behavioral health care delivery, long wait times for appointments, and long-held stigma associated with behavioral health diagnoses. This toolkit is produced by Southcentral Foundation’s Nuka System of Care, an integrated care delivery system serving Alaska Native and American Indian people in Anchorage and rural villages. The Nuka System has prioritized integrating behavioral health into their primary care teams as part of a larger system transformation.

About this Tool

The toolkit lays out practical steps and worksheets to help successfully integrate behavioral health into primary care. The content outlines steps for developing a vision, mission, and project charter, as well as developing and implementing action plans to address key issues, including:

  • The type of clinical integration of behavioral health the clinic wants to pursue;
  • Targeted and non-targeted approaches to behavioral health care delivery;
  • Behavioral health consultant roles, responsibilities, hiring and onboarding;
  • Workload balance;
  • Facility and space considerations;
  • Access across the broad patient population; and
  • Other behavioral health considerations.


Health care and behavioral health care leaders, clinicians and administrators can use this toolkit to learn practical strategies for implementing behavioral health into primary care settings. The steps are meant to be adaptable, depending on the unique needs of different health care organizations.

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