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Keywords:

  • immigrants;
  • collaborative care;
  • poverty;
  • trauma;
  • primary care clinic;
  • Montgomery Cares Behavioral Health Program

Low-income, uninsured immigrants are burdened by poverty and a high prevalence of trauma exposure and thus are vulnerable to mental health problems. Disparities in access to mental health services highlight the importance of adapting evidence-based interventions in primary care settings that serve this population. In 2005, the Montgomery Cares Behavioral Health Program began adapting and implementing a collaborative care model for the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders in a network of primary care clinics that serve low-income, uninsured residents of Montgomery County, Maryland, the majority of whom are immigrants. In its 6th year now, the program has generated much needed knowledge about the adaptation of this evidence-based model. The current article describes the adaptations to the traditional collaborative care model that were necessitated by patient characteristics and the clinic environment.