Mental health and addiction are two struggles the Silver State knows well. And this is why behavioral health care services are so important. Just recently, Renown welcomed the new Stacie Mathewson Behavioral Health & Addiction Institute, which hopes to expand access to prevention and intervention services. Institute administrator Dr. Kristen Davis-Coelho offers insights about the levels of behavioral care.
First, let’s talk a little bit about the institute. Why do we need this here?
For the third straight year, Nevada ranked 51st in the nation according to Mental Health America’s 2019 State of Mental Health Report. Nevada has the highest prevalence of mental illness and substance use, combined with limited access to treatment and also a shortage of care providers. That’s why this new institute is so important.
The institute will expand community access to prevention and intervention services for mental health disorders and addiction. It will work toward decreasing the stigma surrounding these conditions and encouraging more people to seek treatment.
Just as we see with other chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes, patients who receive treatment greatly improve. Studies have shown treatment resulting in an 80 percent improvement for patients with bipolar disorder; 70 percent improvement for major depression, panic disorder, OCD; and 60 improvement for patients with schizophrenia. These numbers show just how critical seeking care can be.
Talk about the different levels of behavioral health care and what resources patients have.
Just as with any medical condition, behavioral health and addiction treatment offers different levels of care based on the individual patient. At our new facility at 85 Kirman Avenue, we offer a variety of services based on a patient’s need.
On the second floor, we offer group, individual and couples therapy. We also provide medication management and evaluations and psychological testing.
On the first floor, we have partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment. Intensive outpatient treatment is office-based therapy totaling nine hours per week offered during the day and at night to fit patient needs. Partial hospitalization is also office-based therapy that totals 25 hours per week.
This allows patients to receive care outside of the hospital and practice the skills they learn at home each night.
We also offer medication-assisted treatment which includes prescriptions that aid recovery by decreasing addiction cravings.
How can a loved one or family member know when to seek professional care? What about hospitalization?
When a person is struggling with a mood issue, anxiety, behavioral problems, or addiction, they typically try to solve it first using their own strengths and resources; often this is effective. But if they and their loved ones find that hasn’t worked, or the problem keeps coming back, that’s the time to find professional support. If it’s affecting the person’s ability to function in their life – work, school, relationships – that’s also a sign it may be time for professional help.
An individual and their family should consider hospitalization if the individual isn’t safe in some way – because they may commit suicide, hurt another person, or are making such risky choices that they’re likely to be harmed. In this situation, the hospital is the best place for a person to be kept safe while they get immediate help. However, if the person is struggling intensely but isn’t an immediate danger to themselves or others, then intensive outpatient treatment or a partial hospitalization program may be right for them.