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