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Tag Archives: mental health

Mental Health and Physical Health Integration is Best Medical Practice

Expect to Find More Mental Health Evaluation as Part of Standard Care

mental healthOne quarter of all adults experience some kind of mental health problem during a given year. 70 percent of medical visits to primary healthcare providers are somehow linked to mental health and wellness. It is important that mental health and physical health services work together to help each individual on the road to better health.

A person’s body and spirit work in connection to make them who they are. Since people are a marvelous blend of body and spirit, the professionals who treat them must also work in conjunction in order to benefit the whole person. An independent health care approach which focuses merely on management of symptoms (whether mental or physical) has proven to be less than successful. An integrated approach which combines mental health and primary care services provides better results.

Integrating mental health and primary health care isn’t costly, just more effective. In fact, by combining the two, we can expect to save money while improving outcomes. Take diabetes or heart disease as an example. These two illnesses are among the most common reasons for visits to the primary provider. And 20 percent of those with diabetes or heart disease also experience depression. That makes them less likely to comply with doctor’s recommendations and significantly lowers their quality of life.

Yet, with just a few questions, doctors can screen patients for depression and steer them toward successful treatment, thereby improving patient compliance and significantly bettering their daily lives. Perhaps, even extending their lives. Look for primary care providers to start making depression screenings, substance abuse referrals and behavioral assessments for children part of their standard care.

At Family Guidance Center, we work hand in hand with medical professionals on a daily basis. We believe that treating the whole person is the key to improving overall health and wellness. People are more than a list of symptoms. They are complex, interactive beings and we believe that addressing all aspects of a person’s health is the best way to achieve full health.

Being Prepared for a Mental Health Crisis

Recommended Steps Before the Mental Health Crisis Occurs

mental health crisisHow well prepared are you in case of a mental health crisis? Such crises are more common than you think. According to our nation’s CDC, a mental health crisis sent 4 million Americans to hospital emergency rooms. If you have a loved one living with a mental health condition, there are steps you can take to be prepared beforehand in the event of a possible moment of crisis.

Be Informed

If someone close to you is living with a mental health condition then you want to be informed about their illness. Know what the common symptoms of the condition are and how frequently they show up. You need to be able to tell if symptoms are worsening in an out-of-the-ordinary manner. It’s also helpful to inform yourself regarding all of the available mental health services in the area.

Be Alert

Suicide is a serious and very real risk for those with a chronic mental health condition. But it is not the only crisis point. Extreme panic attack, paranoia and hallucinations also constitute a mental health crisis. These can be debilitating. If your loved one becomes unmanageable, overly agitated or behaves violently, take note. And if they talk about suicide, pay attention. Nearly 90 percent of those who take their own lives spoke of doing so beforehand.

Be in Touch

A mental health crisis most often will present warning signs. It’s so important that your loved one is meeting regularly with a mental health professional and that you feel comfortable contacting that person should you see signs of trouble.

Family Guidance Center is staffed with trained mental health professionals. We are here day in and day out to help your loved one. We also offer families support and guidance. With care you may be able to avoid a mental health crisis.

Childhood Mental Health: Many do Not Receive Treatment for Mental Illness

Ignoring Childhood Mental Health Puts Children at Risk

What if there were an illness that affected half of kids in America and most of them never got any treatment?mental health Unfortunately, that is the case in our country. A recent report released through the Child Mind Institute finds that 50 percent of kids in this country will experience a mental health condition at some juncture during their childhood. Yet just 7.4 percent of kids per year receive treatment for their illness.

The biggest mental health condition faced by U.S. children today is anxiety in its various forms (generalized, PTSD, social anxiety, phobia, separation anxiety and panic disorder). Anxiety accounts for 40 percent of all childhood mental illness in this country (31.9 percent with anxiety, 8.3 percent with severe anxiety). The median age of anxiety onset is just six years old.

Not only do American children not get the immediate care that they need, studies reveal that it is not likely that these kids will ever receive care. Untreated childhood mental illness puts kids at risk as they grow up for other health problems and increases the chance that they will not complete high school.

With so many children experiencing mental health symptoms, parents need to be vigilant about looking for any signs of trouble. Symptoms of childhood anxiety include: excessive anxiousness, irritability, sleep disruption, inability to concentrate and/or being fidgety. If you notice these symptoms, talk to your medical doctor or make an appointment for a mental health check-up with one of our mental health professionals at Family Guidance Center. We can help. Children who receive prompt attention are able to develop valuable tools for managing anxiety that will help them on the road to a happy and healthy life.

New Studies Link Mental Illness to Food Insecurity

Lack of Access to Nutritious Meals Associated With Greater Risks of Mental Illness

mental illnessA lack of access to nutritious food, or food insecurity, is not a small issue. Not only does the lack of steady, nutritious meals negatively affect physical health and development, but new research is starting to link food insecurity with mental illness as well. Negative mental health risks among the food insecure have been shown to be notably higher than among the food secure.

Single mothers are among those who experience food insecurity. As a result, these moms face a tripled risk for depression according to one study. Other studies have found that mental illness for single moms increases as food scarcity continues. Mothers unable to provide regular, healthy meals were shown to experience a greater prevalence of major depression or anxiety compared to moms without that pressure. Kids in these homes also showed negative outcomes. They exhibited more behavior problems, mood disorder or substance abuse the longer food scarcity persisted.

Single mothers and their children are not the only ones who must deal with food insecurity and therefore are not the only ones affected. A study involving 3,500 low income men and women found a definite association between food insecurity and higher risks for depression and even suicidal ideation. Anyone living with food uncertainty may experience a heightened risk for mental illness.

More research is needed, but in the meantime, as a community there are ways we can help. First, we can come together and focus on addressing issues of food insecurity. Second, mental health services need to be made available to low income community members. At Family Guidance Center our doors are open to all the members of our community. If economic pressures are getting you down, we’re here to help. Please stop by and make an appointment. We can help give you the tools to cope in healthy ways.

Mental Health Struggles on College Campuses Are on the Rise

Anxiety a Growing Mental Health Issue for College Students

mental healthIn addition to the recreational facility, the library and the mental health clinic, many college campuses also provide mental health services. Nation-wide studies are showing that more college students are availing themselves of these services than ever before, and more often than not, for anxiety concerns.

At one time depression was the leading mental health issue affecting students at college, and it remains a growing problem. These days, though, anxiety earns the top spot. Campus mental health clinic surveys show that over 50 percent of student visits are anxiety-related. Furthermore, the American College Health Association reports that one of every six students has either received an anxiety diagnosis or been treated for anxiety within the past year.

Researchers and mental health professionals say they cannot directly account for the growing anxiety problem among students. Students themselves blame academic stress and pressure starting in high school. It could also be connected to chronic social media use among other prevalent trends with young adults today.

The stigma which once kept people away from treatment appears to be improving – at least on campus. Studies show that 50 percent of those who visit the college mental health clinic have prior experience with a counselor, over 30 percent have been prescribed psychiatric medicines and 25 percent have engaged in self-harm. More students are coming in and most college clinics don’t have adequate staff to meet the need.

Experts say that college-age anxiety is normal. It is part of the process of learning to become self-reliant, responsible and self-confident. One counselor estimated that 80 percent of students are helped with a short-term intervention. If you are a college student and the pressure feels like it’s building, you can find help meeting with a mental health professional. Family Guidance Center can help you address anxiety, depression or any other mental health concern. You’re not alone.