Network of Care Provides Access to All Things Behavioral Health for Rhode Islanders

June 25, 2007
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island

Providence, R.I. - The Surgeon General has estimated that roughly 20 percent of the U.S. population has a diagnosable behavioral health  disorder but only one in three receives treatment. According to the Wall Street Journal, untreated depression costs American businesses $70 billion each year in lost productivity and worker absenteeism.

Rhode Island Network of Care for Behavioral Health Web site, a statewide initiative, will be launched during a press event June 25, at the State House Rotunda. Based on a “no wrong door” approach, this new innovative Web site offers critical information, communication, and advocacy tools for individuals, families, caregivers, and agencies who are navigating the behavioral health system. The site also provides user-friendly libraries and vital information about health conditions, pending legislation and advocacy, as well as daily worldwide news articles on mental health issues.

“This innovation was made possible through an impressive effort of collaboration and community partnership,” said Laura Adams, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Quality Institute. “It gives Rhode Islanders a place to go when they’re in need of behavioral health services, support and advocacy and don’t know where to turn.”

This online resource is a single place for consumers, caregivers and case managers to gain knowledge; quickly find and coordinate community services; store important information, and advocate to policymakers. With a comprehensive directory of over 1400 programs and services in Rhode Island, the site can put people in touch with the right services at the right time.   

“This new network will help Rhode Islanders and their families find the information they need to get the care they deserve,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “This is an exciting step forward for those living with behavioral illness and I’m proud that the Quality Institute once again is leading the way.”

The Network of Care is being launched by the Rhode Island Quality Institute in partnership with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Bradley Hospital, Butler Hospital, Gateway Healthcare, Inc., NRI Community Services, Inc., Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, The Providence Center, Rhode Island Council of Community Mental Health Organizations, RI Health and Education Building Corporation, Rhode Island Hospital, and the Rhode Island Parent Information Network.

“This network is a terrific example of how technology can put patients at the center of care, where they should be, and improve coordination,” said Representative Patrick J. Kennedy, who was a strong early proponent of the project. “Better information is the first step to better health, and that’s what the Network of Care will deliver.”

“This innovative site will empower both the individual and family members with the information they desperately need to make vital decisions,” said James Purcell, president and CEO, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island. “We are extremely proud to be a part of this important project.”

The Network of Care site is now available to the public at http://rhodeisland.networkofcare.org.