New mental health center opens in AZ, hopes to treat first responders

PHOENIX — A new mental health center is opening in Phoenix in hopes of treating first responders who may need help.

The Mental Health Center of America opened in early January and hopes to be a one-stop shop for diagnosing and treating mental health.

The MHCA will serve people with symptoms related to mental health, such as anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, obsessive thoughts, self-harm, impulsive behaviors, suicidal thoughts, addiction, etc.

Dr. Soffia Palsdottir, MHCA’s chief psychologist, told ABC15 that like any physical injury a first responder experiences, there can be traumatic brain injury, “it doesn’t mean they’re sick, or that it’s weak, or it can’t do their job, it just means they need to take care of that injury or it will become a full health issue.

In addition to hoping to treat first responders, the MHCA will be open to the public and will have psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, physician assistants and licensed professional counselors.

“The MHCA fills a void in the field of mental health. Too many people begin their mental health journey before being overwhelmed and exhausted by our current mental health system. MHCA combines a wide variety of treatment options and health care providers in one place to ensure the patient receives the most comprehensive and accurate mental health care possible,” said Dr Mona. Amini, psychiatrist at MHCA.

MHCA services/treatments provided include:

• Full psychological assessment
• Individual consultation
• Neurofeedback
• Psychotherapy
• Psychiatric services
• Prescription management
• Therapeutics such as cryogenic treatments, cold dives, infrared sauna and hyperbaric oxygen treatment
• Facilities such as a meditation room and a breathing room

The outpatient mental health center hopes to transform the field of mental health in Arizona, including barriers like cost.

MHCA leaders say they will accept health insurance to help cover costs associated with mental health care.

To learn more, click here.

The 100 Club in Arizona also focused on the mental health of first responders. They have provided approximately 82 law enforcement agencies with an app that can connect first responders to nearby therapists and resources.

The Fireproof and Bulletproof apps allow a first responder to request help anonymously without having to go directly through their agency.

The 100 Club, a non-profit organization, pays 100% of the costs associated with the exploitation of this resource.

ABC15 learns that the Arizona Department of Public Safety is the largest agency they work with.

Angela Harrolle of the 100 Club said they do not track the number of individual subscribers to the services, “we intentionally anonymize this data so that we can protect and keep the information confidential for people seeking help”.

The data helps agencies understand what kinds of help or assistance may be needed in a service, such as substance abuse, gambling, or marital issues at home.

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