Outpatient Mental Health Clinic
A mental health diagnosis involves many steps, including an evaluation by a doctor or mental health professional. In addition to a physical exam, there will be questions about symptoms and medical history. Doctors also use tests to make sure a medical condition isn’t causing the symptoms. If no other illness is found, you may be referred to a psychiatrist, psychologist or mental health professional.
Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for a mental illness. The doctor will base the diagnosis on the person’s report of symptoms — including any problems caused by the symptoms. The doctor will also observe the person’s attitudes and behavior to determine the diagnosis.
The standard manual used by experts for the diagnosis of recognized mental illness in the U.S. is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM), which is compiled by the American Psychiatric Association.
Our staff has expertise in diagnosing mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, psychotic spectrum disorders and addictive disorders. In addition to making the diagnosis, the assessment will help uncover the person’s strengths which will be essential in the recovery process. The assessment also reveals other challenges that should be addressed, like a learning disability.
Your assessment is your plan for treatment, and will be based on:
Initial interview with a counselor, including information on symptoms, substance use/abuse, and family/social history. Records from other doctors/counselors will be included.
Complete history and physical examination, including symptoms.
Comprehensive laboratory testing, including blood and urine analyses, serum fractionated cannabinoid levels (as indicated) and pregnancy test (for women). Additional tests might include genetic testing for prediction of medication response, serum synthetic cannabinoid levels, medication levels (lithium, Depakote, tricyclic antidepressants), EKG, SLE antibody, and rheumatoid factor, CRP, serum hormone levels.
Psychological Assessment with a family psychologist to clarify the diagnosis, assess cognitive function and other standardized tests.
Psychiatric Evaluation with a staff psychiatrist.
Summary report, which indicate the treatment plan, including interventions and referrals to specialists.
This assessment takes place over several weeks, beginning with your first visit and ending with the summary report. Because this process is so detailed, it helps ensure that you get the help you need – so you can move on to create a better life.
For children and Adults with emotional or behavioral problems, an evaluation shall be done by a child, adolescent or adult psychiatrist is appropriate. The evaluation will involve several office visits for the child and parents and as needed for the adult. Other significant consumers – school personnel, family doctor and relatives – might be included if helpful.
The evaluation frequently involves:
Details of present problems and symptoms
Background on health, illness and treatment (both physical and psychiatric), including current medications
Health and psychiatric histories of parents and family
Details on the child’s development, school and friends, family relationships
Interviews of the child or adolescent, parents/guardians
Laboratory studies such as blood tests, x-rays, or special assessments, if needed. The child and adolescent psychiatrist will then develop a formulation. The formulation describes the child’s problems in terms that the parents and child can understand. The formulation combines biological, psychological and social parts of the problem with developmental needs, history and strengths of the child, adolescent and family.
Parents are often concerned that their child is not normal – and that they are to blame. They may wonder if they are silly to worry. They don’t know what’s wrong, and wonder if anyone can help their child. They have questions about treatments – including the cost. Parents also worry about how they will be viewed during the evaluation.
Please be assured, your child and adolescent psychiatrist is there to support your family, not to judge or blame. They will listen to your concerns, and help the child or adolescent — and your family – set the goals of the evaluation. If you have questions, we hope you will ask them. It’s important that parents understand the evaluation process.
When a problem is identified, the psychiatrist will recommend a specific treatment and a plan will be developed. You can be assured that your child and adolescent psychiatrist has your child’s best interests at heart – and will work with you and your child toward positive goals.
Like x-rays and blood tests, psychological tests help your doctor understand what’s causing your symptoms. The idea of “psychological testing’ may sound slightly intimidating, but it’s not. It’s designed to help you (or a family member) get the treatment you need.
Psychologists use tests and other assessment tools for many reasons. If you’re having problems at work or in personal relationships, tests can help a psychologist identify areas where you need help. Maybe it’s anger management. Or it might be interpersonal skills. For some consumers, personality traits are a contributing factor. You might be struggling with anxiety or depression, too, and need help getting to the root of the problem.
Indeed, the underlying causes of a problem aren’t always obvious. That’s where psychological tests and assessments can help – as they allow a psychologist to understand the problem, and to decide the best way to address it.
Taking the test
Your psychologist will choose the test (or tests) that are the right fit for you. Don’t worry, you can’t “fail” these tests. It’s not like school! You’ll simply provide answers that feel right, so your doctor will know you better. Keep in mind – every answer brings you closer to a happier life.
Very often, your psychologist will advise a treatment plan that involves psychotherapy, or “talk therapy.” Depending on your situation, you may be referred to a specialist for therapy. Either way, your psychological evaluation will be very helpful to your psychotherapist in understanding your diagnosis – and in tailoring a treatment that meets your specific needs.
So relax, and take the tests. This is your opportunity to get the best help possible – so you can move closer to the life you can enjoy.
In every healthcare setting, including FIRST HEALTH SERVICES LLC, every patient has a “case manager.” This is a social worker or nurse who will act as your key contact during treatment. First Health Services Case Managers shall interact with others involved in your care – therapists and doctors – in making sure you get the treatment you need. This is all part of the case management process.
A good case manager will work with you to help you identify your goals and needs in the treatment process. From that assessment, your case manager — together with you and your family (if appropriate) – will create a plan to meet those goals.
First Health Services Case Managers shall help sort out the details, and make sure your needs are being met. You should feel comfortable asking your case manager any questions about your treatment. If something doesn’t seem right, talk to your case manager.
Your case manager is your advocate, and can speak to doctors, therapists or others on your behalf. The goal for your case manager, and for anyone on the team, is to help you. Your wellness, your ability to handle the details of everyday life, and your recovery are your goals. First Health Services Case Managers shall help make sure you reach those goals.
Talk With a Counselor
24/7 service. Same Day Appointments are Available.
Specialized Treatment Planning
All First Health Services licensed professionals employ a vast range of modalities and techniques to meet the unique needs of each individual and family. First Health Services recognizes the unique backgrounds, cultures, coping abilities and service needs of consumers. Therefore, we tailor all services accordingly and collaboratively. Therapy may be provided in the home, community or on-site at the clinic. Therapy is covered by Medicaid and some private insurance.
First Health Services individualized treatment services support the recovery process of Consumers and enhance their ability to participate fully in the activities of the community.
24/7 Access to Expert Help
Tele-health Therapy is now Available
All First Health Services Consumers shall meet one or more diagnoses of mental illness or addictive disease to qualify for services.
The program hours are 8:00 am – 5.50 pm, Monday - Friday.
Saturdays by appointment.
24/7 for emergencies