Prioritizing mental health begins with screenings 

Register file photo 

Katelyn Arvin assists a patient with behavioral health service needs. 

An exhausted healthcare worker sits down for the first time since the start of her shift. She is sweating, covered in protective gear, and tries to catch her breath.

She has been helping to treat the dozens of patients in the facility for COVID-19.

Trying to keep it together, the young healthcare hero has accepted she has possibly reached her limit.

Full of anxiety, hopelessness and on the brink of exhaustion, the woman decides it is the time to prioritize her own mental health.

Upon finishing her shift she arrives at the Baptist Health Behavioral Services Clinic in Richmond to process her emotions. It is here, after a full screening and discussion with psychological professionals, she discovers underlying mood disturbances which require more treatment.

This woman is one in five adults in the U.S. who live with a mental health illness, according to Katelyn Arvin, Behavioral Health manager at Baptist Health Richmond.

At the clinic, services offer treatment and support for children, adolescents, and adults with psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar conditions, as well as substance abuse.

The clinic also treats young people dealing with anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and other conditions.

These services are promoted throughout the year, but especially throughout October — a month dedicated to Depression and Mental Health Screening Awareness. In addition, the first week of the month is Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Arvin said she ask that anyone who needs help to call or come in for services 24/7.

“I encourage anyone to prioritize their mental health, especially in times like today,” she said.

Anyone needing assistance can call outpatient services Monday through Friday by calling 859-544-8171. In addition, patients can make themselves an appointment if they would like to be screened.

At any point, if anyone feels their situation is an emergency, they can speak with a licensed therapist at the emergency department.

No matter what outlet used for a screening, Arvin said individuals will be greeted warmly and welcomed with open arms.

“We are a small team, but we are really passionate about our patient care,” Arvin said. “We are also really patient-centered with our care and work alongside them to be a guide to you feeling like your best self. Because we are the ones who know ourselves best.”

The clinic uses several different evidence-based screeners for depression, mental illness and substance abuse disorders, as well as expert training to motivationally interview and identify the needs of an individual early on.

Based on an individual patient's results, the team at the behavioral clinic can help diagnose, treat and create a plan in the same department — which Arvin said is a big help to what can be an already overwhelmed person.

“That way the patient is not having to find a separate provider and re-express trauma and the team can work together with them to feel and show that support,” she said. “We know it is hard to take that step to be vulnerable and we appreciate when people do that. We want to make it as easy and comfortable as possible so they feel this is a care place where they can get the help they need.”

Arvin said with mental health and illness screenings and the services at Baptist Health, she hopes to lower the stigma associated with mental health.

“We all have mental health, because it is a part of our overall wellness,” she said. “It is just as important to acknowledge our mental wellness resources as we would for primary care.”

For more information visit baptisthealth.com/richmond/services/behavioral-health.

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