Graduation Year


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Molly Bradshaw-O'Neal

Department Affiliation


Second Advisor

Wanda France

Department Affiliation




Mental health providers are in short supply in the United States. Access to mental health is impacted by the process used to refer patients. To bridge this gap, this DNP Project sought to increase mental health referrals to the partnering organization through strategic outreach to primary care and an online social media presence. After IRB approval, outreach to twenty-one primary care providers across eleven clinics was completed, a social media campaign was conducted, and the intake form for the partnering organization was updated for tracking the source of the referral. Results of the interventions included high satisfaction on the information received and high self-efficacy in providing referrals to psychiatry from outreached providers. Results showed a 21% increase in completed new client intake appointments during the DNP Project, with five reporting being directly referred from outreached clinic. There was no significant increase of referrals generated from the social media campaign and further participation in this area is needed.

Keywords: mental health, mental health practice, referral process, referral, referral pathway, and care pathway

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)


Included in

Nursing Commons