As you are thinking about your health and planning for a new year, now is the time to ask yourself: When was the last time I met with my primary care provider?
If you do not have a primary care doctor, please consider making this a priority to establish care. Also, if you have considered seeing a therapist but have not yet taken the step, please prioritize yourself.
I really encourage young adults to find a long-term provider/ clinic so that medical records are accessible for a more accurate medical history. Established care and an ongoing relationship with your doctor are also very helpful when coordinating care with other healthcare providers such as therapists and psychiatrists.
One very important aspect of health care appointments is screening. It is a good idea to learn more about preventive-care-benefits available through care providers who are in-network with your health plan and ask about benefits that may be covered at 100% as part of your plan.
- Do you get routine depression-screenings when you visit your primary care physician (PCP)?
- Are you up to date on vaccines?
- When was the last time you had your blood-pressure-checked? Did you know that the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends annual screening for hypertension-in-adults who are over 40 or who are at risk for high blood pressure?
- If you take medication, are you taking prescription-medicines as prescribed?
- If you are sexually active, when is the last time you were tested for sexually-transmitted-infections?
Individuals with certain risk factors such as obesity, tobacco use, alcohol misuse, high cholesterol, and diabetes are at higher risk of additional medical and medical health complications; therefore, it is important to have regular wellness visits and screen for medical, mental health, and substance use. While some people view mental health and physical health as separate, they are closely interconnected!
Did you know that CARE Counseling provides mental health screening as part of the intake process? Our therapists will screen for common mental health symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Your therapist will ask about any medical conditions, current medications, substance use, and history of presenting concerns.
The best practice is to coordinate care with your primary care physician. This helps ensure that your medical providers are first ruling out any medical causes of your health condition. Mental health treatment is generally recommended if there are no known medical causes. Mental health treatment may include therapy, medication management, or both.
One awesome benefit that CARE Counseling recently has added to the available services for adults receiving counseling is medication-management. This is a client-centered service for adults (18+) who are experiencing difficulties managing symptoms such as the following—
Anxiety & Panic
Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
CARE’s medication management services complement preventative care well and can provide relief in symptoms while one is participating in therapy to process sources of stress and learn strategies to cope with symptoms. Taking a proactive approach to talking with your doctor, seeing a therapist, and if applicable, medication management can help reduce the likelihood of symptoms worsening. It can also help prevent seeking out services when things are in a state of crisis. Routine screening is the way to go!
Let us join you this year in taking good care of your health.
Written By: Charlotte Johnson, MA, LPCC
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