Blog
Mar 18
Blog: New Behavioral Health Services in Primary Care

The direction of health care today is moving toward whole-person care, mind and body, which is why patients will begin seeing behavioral health screenings available in all of Saratoga Hospital Medical Group’s primary care locations over the next few months. 

“We know health care outcomes are much better when you integrate behavioral health in primary care,” says Janice Prichett, LCSW-R, Executive Director of Behavioral Health Services. “Too often, people who need help don’t know that help is available, so rather than hope they come to us, we’re going to them, right in their Patient Centered Medical Home.”

A social worker will be available to screen patients for a number of mental and behavioral health concerns, such as alcohol and substance abuse, anxiety, depression, domestic violence history, and trauma. Additionally, the social worker will screen for the patient’s social determinants of health, including access to transportation, childcare, housing, and assessing any food insecurity. This will help you and your providers better understand any barriers to your healthcare, and explore ways to resolve them.
 
The social worker can evaluate any need for further behavioral health intervention, which could be a brief intervention right then, or providing a referral to a specialist in the area of behavioral health need identified. 

“A person having moderate to severe depression can meet with the social worker right there and then,” says Janice. “Depending on the level of need, we try to make it quick, within 24 hours. When it comes to behavioral health care, access means everything. If a patient is ready and care isn’t available, that moment may pass, and it may be weeks, months, or even years before they try again. Incorporating these screenings into primary care will open the opportunity for help right when the patient needs it.”

Learn more about Saratoga Hospital’s mental and behavioral health services here. Find a primary care center close to you here. 
 

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