There has been a local, state and national outcry for better mental health treatment.
And, in the eyes of Michelle Hoy, executive vice president of Mind Springs Health, service providers were not meeting that demand sufficiently.
So Hoy and Dr Jules Rosen, former Chief Medical Officer of Mind Springs, 515 28 3/4 Road, Bldg. A, has developed Metricovery, a more intensive approach to care that has shown positive results in patients. For the initiative, the National Council for Mental Wellness presented Mind Springs with one of its awards of excellence at a virtual conference earlier this month.
âIt’s like the Oscar for behavioral health,â Hoy said. âWe were surprised to be recognized at such a national level because we are just a small local agency in western Colorado. But I did not enter this field for recognition but for service to the community.
When you break your arm, treatment begins right away with several doctors and in a methodical way. It’s basically the same concept with Metricovery.
Mind Springs takes a team approach with psychiatrists, therapists and other staff to plan effective treatment and begin intensive treatment within four days instead of months. They also meet regularly to refine their treatment plans.
According to Mind Springs research, the method seems to work. âAt six and 12 weeks, the rates of resolution of depression are 63% and 78%, respectively. That’s well above the national averages of 16% at 6 weeks and 33% at 12 weeks, âthe website says.
And given how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected mental health, it came on time.
Hoy said people who have come to Mind Springs since the start of the pandemic had more intense bouts of mental illness and, as a result, received more intense treatment.
TALK ABOUT IT
Hoy believes that another important part of treating mental health is de-stigmatizing it.
People can hide failing mental health more easily than they can hide their physical health, she said. So people at local and national levels need to talk more about it. And if they do, she thinks it will have a big impact.
âOver the past three or four years we’ve seen these athletes and celebrities speak publicly about their depression and anxieties. You never saw this seven years ago, âHoy said. âIt’s courageous to talk about it and we have to normalize it. When celebrities and athletes do it, it shows someone that they can have the same mental health issues that they can overcome and be successful. “
She said she looks forward to the day when people with mental illness (most of us have mental health issues in one form or another, she said) will no longer be looked down upon – be it depression or schizophrenia.
Kevin Barclay, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Western Slope, agrees openness is vital.
âThink about when someone asks you how your day is going at the office. You say “good” and they say “good”, but that’s all a lie. Sometimes you have to be honest about your struggles and say “I’m having a bad day” and they say the same. Suddenly you’re on the same page and you’ve made that connection, âBarclay said. âIt’s about taking the time to hear someone and be heard. It makes you feel safe.