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Mental Health

What Happens When Mental Health Comes Into the Home

Mental health is one of the most overlooked pieces of the puzzle in health care. Caring for a whole person reaches beyond the physical to include the emotional and spiritual well-being of a person. Unfortunately, many in-home health care services either do not recognize this fact or they are not equipped to handle a person’s mental health needs. No matter what the reason, mental health must be an integral part of healing if the whole person is to be helped by any agency.

When a nurse or volunteer recognizes the need for mental health help, a recommendation is made to the primary physician or to the agency which is providing the home health care. That recommendation is followed by patient screening to determine the exact type of services necessary. After this initial assessment, if the patient is found in need, a mental health professional will be contacted to enter the home.

In the home, the mental health professional will do his or her own assessment and begin treatment as necessary. Many home health care agencies strive to keep mental health services in the patient’s home for a number of reasons.

Comfort

The person is comfortable in his or her home and may open up to a therapist or mental health professional easier than in an ambulatory setting. The stress of moving from place to place is removed, the stress of waiting in a waiting room is removed, and the patient is surrounded by familiarity in the home. The level of comfort is elevated, helping a patient relax and talk freely about issues.

Ease of Cost

The cost of mental health services is reduced because the mental health professional doesn’t have to maintain an office. There are fewer overhead charges, which means less fees associated with in-home mental health care. The professional drives to the home, conducts mental health services, then drives to the next client. There is no building to maintain and fewer business costs, so these savings are often passed along to the client.

Easier Assessments

A mental health professional coming into the home has an easier assessment than one who must get the answers from the client in an office setting. For example, a professional going into a home on a weekly basis who is greeted by a dog at the door will know the client isn’t feeling well if that dog is absent during a visit. The client does not need to say, “My dog died.” The professional will know the client’s needs better with in-home care.

There are two main types of professionals who come into a home for mental health care, and there is only one main difference between the two. A psychologist can help a patient talk through problems, but must go to a primary physician if drugs are to be prescribed. A psychiatrist is allowed, by law, to prescribe mental health drugs without the permission of a physician. It’s important to understand the difference between the two, and which one is coming into the home.

If you’d like to discuss in-home mental health services further, contact Vancouver Home Health Care Agency today. At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.

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