Why mental health is an essential component of physical health

Editor’s Note: This sponsored content was brought to you by Connect for Health Colorado

Every Mountain Family Health integrated clinic has behavioral health professionals on staff that offer both individual or group counseling.
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Family Health Centers believes that you can’t have physical health without
mental health. When you keep the entire body well and whole, you’re keeping
families and communities well and whole.

link between our mind and our soul and our body is really a powerful one,” said
Garry Schalla, development director for Mountain Family Health Centers, which
has 10 clinics that serve more than 20,000 people in western Colorado.

Family’s integrated care model includes medical, dental and behavioral health.
Services are offered to anyone, whether you have private insurance, Medicare or
Medicaid, or no insurance.

In each
Mountain Family Health integrated clinic in the mountain region — in Rifle,
Glenwood Springs, Basalt and Edwards — there are behavioral health
professionals that offer both individual or group counseling. Behavioral health
providers are also available to work with medical or dental patients at a
moment’s notice, Schalla said.

Family Health Centers are not free clinics, but there is a sliding scale fee
offered for those who are uninsured based on household size and income.

want you to be invested in your health,” Schalla said.  

Behavioral health is part of overall

who visit any Mountain Health clinic fill out a short patient survey that
includes some questions about mental health. Schalla said the front desk staff,
physician assistants, nurses and doctors are trained to identify signs that
could indicate some mental health challenges.

Family Health Centers also works directly with crisis response providers such
as Mind Springs and Aspen Hope, bringing not only follow-up counseling, but
medical and dental support when needed, Schalla said.

also continue to do bilingual education around the stigma surrounding mental
health for the Latino communities due to the cultural differences in how they
view it,” Schalla said. “We want them to understand they don’t have to carry
these burdens and there are resources for them to reach out that are bilingual
and culturally acceptable.”

communities about mental health resources is so important due to the fact that
mental health is linked to overall physical health and longevity. Research
shows that those suffering from mental health challenges live shorter lives
than those who don’t.

know that it’s often those outside factors — the stress, fear and anxiety —
that really contribute to our lack of well-being, so it’s really important that
we offer an integrated system that includes that mental health portion of
care,” Schalla said.

Shopping for health insurance

the first Affordable Care Act open enrollment in 2013, Mountain Family Health
Centers has been partnering with Connect for Health Colorado to help get people
signed up for health insurance. For the last three years, Mountain Family
Health Centers has been an official assistance site, meaning their Health
Coverage Guides can help people fill out financial assistance applications and
review plan eligibility. The only thing they can’t do is advise people about
specific health plans.

the insurance system is hard and people often have trouble signing up or
getting started,,” said Silvia Santana, outreach and enrollment manager for
Mountain Family Health Centers. “We want to spread the word that we’re here to
help people enroll in insurance through Connect for Health Colorado. Mental
Health is considered one of the 10 Essential Health Benefits included in
qualified plans under the ACA.”

via:: Post Independent