Program Director and Therapist Shelly Allen said that the hospital began to offer services on March 15. “We offer assessments, medication management, psychotherapy in the form of individual, family or group therapies.”
Allen said that patients may use a self-referral or be referred by a physician. Upon referral, patients undergo a free assessment to establish a diagnosis and treatment plan. Allen added that the clinic currently only accepts patients collecting Medicare benefits, but may expand to patients with other forms of insurance in the future. She said that the idea of a Medicare patient has changed. No longer are patients 65 or older, but in their late 50’s or early 60’s.
“We have a psychiatrist named Dr. Rakesh Chandra of Lourdes Hospital visit the clinic once per week as our medical director,” said Allen. “He oversees our medication management and reviews our psychological evaluation.”
Allen said that the clinic features a total of two therapists and two mental health technicians. She described the program as an intense outpatient program that allows patients to avoid hospitalization. “We usually meet as a group three times per week and offer individual therapy as needed. It’s more intense than meeting with a therapist one or two times per month.”
According to Allen, the patients of the clinic face many of the same issues and emotional problems faced by men and women of all ages. “Patients are dealing with grief and loss o a loved one like a spouse or child. They may have problems from medicines, relatives or accidents. The patients may have struggled with depression or anxiety for a long period of time. There are a lot of other issues we may help a patient address.”
Read the full story on the Behavioral Health Clinic inside the newest Cadiz Record.