Problem Management Plus: An Evidence-Based Approach to Expanding Access to Community-Based Mental Health Supports

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Problem Management Plus (PM+) is a proven, scalable, and cost-effective low-intensity mental health intervention that can be delivered by trained non-clinical workers for people who are experiencing common mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression, or stressful life problems. PM+ fills a gap in the behavioral health services system by providing early intervention and potential prevention of more acute behavioral health service needs. As a model that relies on building the capacity and diversity of the behavioral health workforce, it holds promise for enhancing access to community-based mental health supports.

This issue brief is designed to define and describe the PM+ intervention and its origins and identify preliminary considerations for implementing it in the United States. Together with the Foundation’s Advancing Community-Driven Mental Health (ACDMH) grant program, this report advances the Foundation’s strategy to test and disseminate models of care that increase access to behavioral health services and expand capacity of the behavioral health workforce. Through ACDMH, the Foundation is providing support to community-based organizations to adapt and implement the PM+ intervention with the aim of expanding access to culturally appropriate low-intensity mental health supports among racially, economically, culturally, and socially marginalized communities.