We offter a variety of services at Mental Health Alliance. Several of these are listed below. We are also a CLIA-Waived lab and can do certain lab tests, including drug screens, and can draw blood to send out to another lab. Our professional team of therapists and psychiatric nurse practitioners are equipped to handle a comprehensive range of mental health conditions.
Medication Management is the use of prescription medication to control symptoms of behavioral health problems. A prescription for medication can be written by a physician (MD), Physician Assistant (PA) or Nurse Practitioner (APRN).
The use of medications has had significant success in controlling problem symptoms. For example, a clinically depressed patient can have his/her depression alleviated enough to be able to return to work and resume other activities of daily living. This helps not just the patient but also his/her family. Likewise, patients who experience anxiety, mood swings, ADHD and other problems very often find relief by using medication.
There are many different medications available and the med provider decides, after gathering a full history, which one(s) to use. After a patient starts medication the provider generally will want to see him/her back in the office in two weeks to see how he/she is doing. Often it takes time to find the most effective medication for a patient. Dosages might need to be changed, different medications tried, others added to help with side effects, etc. Part of medication management now may include DNA testing. (see pharmacogemomics below.) Once the patient is stable, appointments can be spaced out to be several months apart.
Sometimes in life a person experiences an acute problem situation and medication helps during this time. When the situation resolves itself the patient is able to discontinue using medication. Other patients have chronic conditions and use medication on an ongoing basis.
If a provider decides medication is appropriate for a patient, it can often greatly improve the quality of life for the patient and his/her family.
Genetic differences can influence a patient’s ability to metabolize medications, and can alter how effective a medication is. Pharmacogenetics is the study of how an individual’s DNA affects their response to medication. Genetic testing can provide clinicians with useful information to support their prescription drug decisions.
The testing process begins with a simple cheek swab, so there are no time-consuming procedures for you to schedule. A cheek swab means a q-tip is rubbed in the mouth along the inside of the cheek to gather saliva. The saliva is sent to a lab for testing and the results are returned to our office usually within a couple of weeks.
The test results can reveal if there is a potential for drug interactions or side effects based upon a patient's genes. This aids in the understanding of how and why some medicines may react differently with a patient. This gives the provider more information to help find the best medication or combination of medications for a patient.
Psychotherapy (or "Therapy" or "Counseling") is the treatment of mental and emotional disorders through the use of psychological techniques designed to encourage communication of conflicts and insight into problems. The goal is to bring relief of symptoms, to make changes in behavior leading to improved social and vocational functioning, and to enhance personality growth.
Psychotherapy at Mental Health Alliance is provided by our Therapists and they are listed under the Provider tab. Therapy appointments generally last 50 minutes and the patient may come weekly, every other week, or once a month depending on the the needs of the patient. This schedule is determined by the therapist and patient. A patient may be seeing a medication provider (Psychiatrist, Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant) and also be participating in psychotherapy. This combination of services can be very effective in helping the patient and his/her family.
bariatirc surgery assessments
Weight loss surgery is a life-altering, stressful process and procedure that requires careful thought, considerable awareness, and adjustment. Changes occur both emotionally and physically. Weight loss surgery is not a “cure-all”. Instead, it is a tool to help you achieve a healthier weight. We want you to be as successful as you can with weight loss surgery!
In order to have a successful long-term outcome, it is necessary to make a number of permanent lifestyle changes. You will need to permanently change your behaviors, eating habits and activity patterns. A behavioral health evaluation is a requirement at most bariatric surgery programs because many habits, behaviors, thoughts and emotions can affect the success of weight loss surgery. Minimally, the behavioral health evaluation will include a one-hour interview and brief questionnaire(s) assessing eating habits, weight history, stress factors, coping patterns, and lifestyle behaviors. Sometimes additional visits may be needed to complete this evaluation. The behavioral health team member will make individualized recommendations to build upon your strengths and help you address challenges so that you can best lose weight and keep it off. Please check with your surgeon or insurance company about their requirements for the type of provider allowed to perform this assessment.
Using telepsychiatry is easy. No special software or technical skills are required. All you need to connect with one of our licensed therapists or psychiatric nurse practitioners is an internet enabled device, such as your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Click HERE to learn more. This service is covered by Nebraska Medicaid, Medicare, and several other insurances and does not cost extra. In fact, it can save you time and money by eliminating the need to drive long distances or take extra time off work. You must live in the state of Nebraska, but can connect from anywhere in the world. We currently use the company Doxy.me to connect to you in the privacy of your own home. Check out their Facebook page for more information, then call the office to schedule your appointment.
Shawnda will send you the password for your session
substance abuse treatment
Treatment for substance abuse consists of helping people stop using the substance, treating withdrawal symptoms, and preventing people from returning to substance abuse afterwards. Outpatient psychotherapy and self-help groups can be effective. People with severe problems may require residential treatment programs.
Substance abuse treatment at Mental Health Alliance is provided by some of our Therapists and they are listed under the Provider tab. Initial evaluations assess the problem areas and what level of treatment would most beneficial. Therapy appointments generally last 50 minutes and the patient may come weekly, every other week, or once a month depending on the the needs of the patient. This schedule is determined by the therapist and patient. We also offer Intensive Outpatient (IOP) services. IOP is a type of specialized outpatient addiction recovery program that provides more structure and a more intensive level of care than a standard outpatient program while still accommodating the person’s home and work life.
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