For Health Care Systems & Leaders

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Health systems are on the front lines in treating mental health and addiction.

Well Being Trust is partnering with health systems and the communities they serve to do what can only be done locally in clinical care, policy and community contexts: to lead systemic change on the ground in communities, where lives can be saved, and human beings and families can flourish.

Check out the latest resources

Clinical Practice Guides: Tools for integrating physical and behavioral health care no matter where patients enter the care continuum

Learn more about the role of health care in improving mental well-being in the following contexts:

In December  2020 Well Being Trust led a virtual Innovation Theater session at the IHI Forum on: “How health systems can improve mental health outcomes through via Care, Coverage, and Community.”

Watch the video here.

In this session, learn more about:

The elements of the Framework for Excellence in Mental Health
Recommendations for mental health coverage and care
How health systems can work with communities to improve mental health

When healthy community conditions, good coverage, and inclusive policies are in place, we can achieve positive outcomes that improve the mental health and well-being of all Americans. Accomplishing this goal requires a comprehensive framework that sees mental health as it begins in communities and extends into health care. The Framework for Excellence in Mental Health and Well-being is a guide for understanding what it will take to improve mental health outcomes and promote well-being for millions of Americans, by using a systems framework that integrates solutions across sectors to achieve maximum benefits for all.

The vital role of health systems has never been clearer. Health system leaders, from frontline providers to system CEOs to purchasers and payers, are poised to move beyond treating medical issues to promoting health. If mental health can be treated like any other medical condition and individuals can have timely access to care, there is great opportunity to advance well-being in our great nation.

“Providence created Well Being Trust in 2016 to advance the mental, social and spiritual health of the nation, and to save lives from Deaths of Despair. We partner with WBT to design integrated care pathways, advance policy for increased access to mental health care, and to create and sustain the upstream community conditions for human flourishing. We invite you to join us in this vital mission.”
Rod Hochman MD, President and CEO Providence, Chair Elect, American Hospital Association


We know the challenges that patients, practitioners, and health systems face when it comes to addressing mental health and addiction. Just as important, we know the evidence-based solutions and opportunities that can save lives. We call for the U.S. health sector and its many stakeholders across the nation to come together in transforming the way mental health and addiction is delivered making it more integrated, and to ensure everyone has access to high quality care, as well to the social and community resources that directly shape individual- and population-level health outcomes.

  • A Guide to Promoting Health Care Workforce Well Being During and After the COVID 19 Pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating existing issues with health care professional burnout and joy in work, escalating the stressors on the health care workforce to unprecedented levels. Fortunately, in recent years, health systems have increasingly recognized that the well-being of the health care workforce is both a moral imperative and essential to the care of patients. Everyone needs support in times of crisis. This guide provides some ideas and lessons learned to improve the well-being of the health care workforce — so that we can look forward to a day when all workers truly experience joy in work.
  • Clinical Performance Group: Well Being Trust worked with its founder Providence St. Joseph Health system leaders to establish a Clinical Performance Group (CPG) for Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders—an enterprise learning collaborative addressing the most pressing and cost-driving challenges within the health system: integrating behavioral health into primary care; transforming substance use treatment and services; and finding better ways to care for people with mental health issues in the emergency department.
  • Key WBT Staff: Arpan Waghray, MD, Chief Medical Officer: Waghray is a geriatric psychiatrist, recently named 2021 Chair-Elect of the Behavioral Health Services Council of the American Hospital Association, and system director for behavioral medicine at Swedish Health Services, where he oversees an integrated program across primary clinics, a perinatal mood disorders program, consultation liaison services, treatment resistant depression program, inpatient psychiatry units and partial hospitalization programs. He also serves as co-chair of the Providence St. Joseph Health Behavioral Medicine Clinical Practice Group. In this role, he facilitates clinical collaboration across the organization to design, develop and deploy solutions that reduce variation and spread innovation. He was the clinical sponsor for the system’s depression care pathway and oversees its comprehensive tele-behavioral health network. Read the latest news from Dr. Waghray.

Policy and Advocacy

Barriers to transforming mental health in this country include antiquated policies that treat the mind as separate from the body. Scientific evidence and countless stories from our communities hold up the fact that people do better when treated as a whole, and policy and payment should reinforce this truth whenever possible.

Well Being Trust’s policy strategy and agenda focuses on improving mental health and well-being and increasing access to care — both today and tomorrow.

  • Projected Deaths of Despair from COVID: Alongside the thousands of deaths from COVID-19, the growing epidemic of “deaths of despair” is increasing due to the pandemic. It’s predicted that more people will die from drug or alcohol misuse and suicide, according to research released by Well Being Trust (WBT) and the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care. The brief notes that if the country fails to invest in solutions that can help heal the nation’s isolation, pain, and suffering, the collective impact of COVID-19 will be even more devastating.
  • Healing the Nation policy recommendations for health systems: Hospitals, outpatient and long-term care facilities, community health centers, and other health care clinicians are on the front lines in treating mental health. It’s critical they are supported to build a “whole health” approach that optimizes prevention, access, and value for those seeking care. There are policy solutions that systematize and institutionalize this approach, from primary care to insurance and reimbursement policies.
  • United States of Care: Building off the Healing the Nation framework from Well Being Trust, United States of Care is offering immediate and long-term strategies to address and alleviate mental health concerns in every community. It won’t be enough to address problems within the health care system alone; workplaces, early learning centers, schools and academic institutions, the justice system, and our communities all play an important role in delivering mental health and addiction recovery support services. Each of these pathways is facing pandemic-related capacity issues and, without swift action, this fragmented system will fail to meet people’s needs. In the absence of comprehensive action at the federal level, states, localities, and private entities are seeking and implementing both well-established and innovative approaches to addressing people’s mental health care needs. States should develop policies that improve all FIVE MAJOR ENTRY POINTS through which people access mental health and addiction recovery care.
  • Key WBT Staff: Benjamin Miller, PsyD, Chief Strategy Officer: A self-proclaimed “fragmentation fighter,” Dr. Miller has worked to redefine the national policy landscape for mental health and health care. A passionate advocate for mental health transformation, Miller works to separate the disconnected – to integrate the fragmented – all in service to creating more comprehensive and whole models of care. He comes to Well Being Trust from the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where he was the founding director of the Eugene S. Farley, Jr. Health Policy Center and currently remains a senior advisor. He has been featured in numerous media outlets including NBC News, USA Today, NPR, PBS News Hour, and many more. Read the latest news from Dr. Miller.


There are bright spots throughout the country where communities are coming together to measurably improve the health and well-being of individuals, families and neighborhoods. Well Being Trust is committed to shining a spotlight on these promising locales: amplifying, spreading adoption and adaptation of best practices, and as possible, scaling the innovations for population-level improvement in outcomes.

Well Being Trust believes that together, we can secure the vital conditions for intergenerational well-being for all.

  • Mental Health and Well Being COVID Action Guide: City and county leaders will be on the front lines of the mental health crisis that began before COVID-19 and has been exacerbated by the grief, loneliness, and collective trauma incurred by the pandemic as well as ongoing racial injustice. But while this growing crisis is deep in magnitude, it is not surmountable — if we act now. The de Beaumont Foundation and Well Being Trust released an action guide for local leaders that emphasizes the urgency of addressing the growing mental health and addiction issues in their communities resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, including more than 60 evidence-based policies, practices, and programs that can prevent further loss of life and livelihood from the nation’s growing mental health crisis.
  • A Guide for Health Systems to Save Lives from “Deaths of Despair” and Improve Community Well-Being: In support of Well Being Trust’s (WBT) strategic goal to save 100,000 lives from deaths of despair and dramatically increase healthy life years in the next 10 years, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement is supporting WBT to evolve a set of recommendations and guidance to help propel the field to action by leveraging the role of health care systems to impact the health and well-being of the populations they serve within their walls and across their communities. Saving lives from deaths of despair is a complex problem that requires adaptive changes and new solutions to transform systems. Whole system transformational improvement in communities must be co-produced with people with lived experience with intention around designing for equity.

Spiritual Well-Being in Health Care