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Monthly Archives: November 2015

How the Health Care Home Solution Can Improve Patient Outcomes

St Joseph on Cutting Edge With Health Care Home Initiative

Health Care HomeIn America today, many citizens believe that information silos can be dangerous and that it is important for various departments to share vital information and work together to keep us safe. This idea that information silos create unnecessary dangers has also reached into health care as well. The Health Care Home program is based on the reality that providing integrated treatment across healthcare disciplines is in the very best interests toward patient well-being.

The Goal of Health Care Home

Almost 68 percent of those living with chronic mental illness also live with a chronic health condition. Studies show that the presence of mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, can worsen the symptoms of a health condition. For too long, many individuals have been treated by one caregiver for one issue, and had to see another provider for another condition — while the two health providers weren’t working in tandem for the best outcome. When mental and physical health providers work together and share pertinent information, consumer outcomes improve.

Not only are outcomes improved, but they are improved at far less cost. The goal is to reduce emergency room visits, hospitalizations and Medicaid costs for patients with persistent mental illness — while providing high-quality, coordinated behavioral health care and primary health care that links physical health needs with mental health needs. Most importantly, the Health Care Home initiative helps consumers live a longer, healthier life.

At the Family Guidance Center our Health Care Home program of integrated health care has successfully improved treatment for 150 children and nearly 500 adults during the past year alone. If your loved one is living with both a chronic physical or mental health condition, please contact us and see how Health Care Home could improve their wellness.

Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder: The Similarities and the Differences

Though Bipolar Disorder is Better Known, Borderline Personality Disorder Occurs Nearly as Often

bipolar disorderBipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder are two different mental illnesses that often get confused with one another. They do share some similarities yet they are also very different diseases. Bipolar disorder is more well-known, but both occur with similar frequency.

A study conducted at Rhode Island Hospital performed personal interviews with 307 patients with diagnosed borderline personality disorder but no bipolar disorder and 236 patients with bipolar disorder alone. Researchers wondered about the morbidity (how often something occurs) of people affected as well as of specific symptoms. In other words, how many people experience each disorder and with what symptoms and what frequency of symptoms?

What Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder Have in Common

Researchers found that approximately the same number of people were affected by each disorder. This is in contrast with currently accepted data which suggests that bipolar disorder occurs around twice as often as borderline personality disorder. Patients with both disorders had alarmingly high morbidity rates for suicidal ideas or attempts. They also looked much the same in terms of psychiatric hospital admission and amount of time missed from work.

What’s the Difference

There were notable differences, however between the two mental illnesses. Those with borderline personality disorder were found to have more co-existing (comorbid) disorders, more social struggles and more substance abuse and tested poorer in reference to general functioning.

Borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder are both mental health illnesses that can affect you or those you love with symptoms that can be debilitating without treatement. At Family Guidance Center we have experience in treatment for both mental health diagnoses and can help you with a treatment plan that is specific to your disease. Our mental health professionals can work together with your healthcare team to provide integrated and comprehensive treatment to help you lead a healthier happy life.

SATOP Program Matches Intervention Level With Individual Need

Who Qualifies for SATOP and What Does it Entail?

The intent behind Missouri’s Substance Abuse Traffic Offenders’ Program (SATOP) is to help educate individuals who drinkSATOP 2 and drive about the dangers and risks associated with this decision. SATOP is a structured intervention required for all Missouri drivers who lose their license as a result of DWI.

Missouri law requires these offenders to take part in a three-part assessment. The assessment costs $126 and must be paid for by the individual. During the assessment the person’s driving record will be examined, they will take an online mental health screening and will meet one-on-one with a behavioral health specialist. After being assessed, the person is then asked to fulfill a minimum of 10 hours of intervention education. In order to have their license reinstated, the offender must complete the intervention program to which they are assigned.

There are multiple education options and a behavioral health specialist will have a say in which program is most appropriate for each individual. The goal of the intervention is to help offenders understand the choices they have made and to take responsibility for those choices.

There is a program designed specifically for under 21 offenders whose arrest included a citation for substance possession or misuse. Low-risk adult offenders may be assigned to a 10-hour OEP (Offender Education Program). Higher risk offenders may be asked to participate in a Weekend Intervention Program (WIP) which lasts 48 hours or a Clinical Intervention Program (CIP) which takes 50 hours to complete. Repeat offenders and those whose assessments indicate the need may be placed in the SROP (Serious Repeat Offenders’ Program) or in Level IV Traditional Treatment for substance abuse.

It’s important to keep in view that SATOP is about deterring poor decisions in the future. There are multiple ways to intervene and help steer someone into a safer direction – SATOP is designed to match the right level of intervention with each person’s need. At Family Guidance Center we offer the SATOP program. Contact us to find out more about our SATOP program.

The Serious Heart Link Between PTSD and Women

PTSD and Women: What are the Physical Risks?

PTSD 5In the month of October you probably saw many pink ribbons…or pink socks or scarves. That’s because October was national Breast Cancer Awareness month. Nationwide education efforts about the risks of breast cancer and the need for regular check-ups have been embraced by the American public. But breast cancer is not the only serious health risk for women. Recent studies are revealing that women who’ve undergone a notable life trauma also face a higher risk of heart conditions like stroke or cardiac arrest. The research shows that PTSD and women can be a very risky combination.

The study is a joint study performed by the Harvard and Columbia University schools of Public Health. Researchers gathered data for two decades from roughly 50,000 subjects before publishing their conclusions. Even after controlling for other known risk factors such as being overweight, tobacco use and high blood pressure, the combination of PTSD and women proved to be serious. Women with at least four symptoms of PTSD faced a 60 percent higher chance of heart trouble compared to women with no PTSD history. And women who reported trauma but showed no symptoms of PTSD still faced a 45 percent greater risk of developing serious cardiac problems.

The association between PTSD and women reinforces what more and more health professionals are noting — the direct connection between mental and physical wellness. What happens in our brain correlates strongly with our physical health and well-being. Women who’ve experienced traumatic events may not be aware that the stress of that experience can be associated with serious heart issues later on.

If you’re a woman and you’ve been through a traumatizing life event, it is important to reach out to a trained mental health professional. At Family Guidance Center we can help you understand the symptoms of PTSD and how to move forward toward wellness. Reaching out for help from mental health professionals means you’re moving closer to the quality of life you want to enjoy.
Please contact us and let us help.

Prescription Drug Abuse on College and University Campuses

Survey Reveals Prescription Drug Abuse Among College Age Youth Has New Triggers

happy group of young people at a university college

happy group of young people at a university college

Young adults often experience their first taste of adult freedom when they head off to college. Perhaps at no other time in life are so many choices presented as during those brief, college years. A recent study asked young people about the choices they face regarding illicit use of controlled substances. The survey found that prescription drug abuse is a choice many are making.

The 2015 College Prescription Drug Study surveyed nearly 4,000 college undergrads, graduate students and professional studies enrollees from both private and public schools in a handful of states. Students were asked how available prescription drugs were on campus, if they had ever personally misused prescription drugs and, if so, for what purpose.

One interesting finding was that young people who engage in prescription drug abuse, do so for a couple of reasons. Today, young people are more likely to misuse drugs in order to self-medicate or just to help them navigate through newly encountered adult life pressures than those of previous years who did so just for recreation.

Prescription drug abuse on college and university campuses is mainly centered around pain medications. A little over half of those surveyed had misused pain medications to control pain, but nearly as many took them to get high. Over half of those who misused sedatives, took them in order to get sleep. Another 18 percent of students had abused stimulant drugs often with the intention of improving academic performance, though this group was made up of mostly undergraduate students.

If you or a young person you care about is living with prescription drug addiction or abuse, know that we can help. At Family Guidance Center, learning positive ways to manage the triggers that can contribute to substance abuse for a lifetime is part of the overall wellness approach we offer.