Your primary care physician can be a great place to start seeking treatment for your mental and behavioral health. Your doctor can be the first line of defense and provide an overall view of your primary care and mental health needs and approach both together.

Some ways your primary care doctor can assist with behavioral health are:

Mental health and substance abuse screenings

Early detection and screenings can be one of the most useful tools in combating mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, as well as substance abuse problems. Depression is the most common of mental health conditions affecting a variety of patients from children and adolescents to adults and those suffering from post-traumatic stress. Helping identify conditions such as depression, anxiety, psychosocial issues, and developmental delays, these screenings provide more information to help the doctor determine if a patient may need to be referred to a behavioral specialist.

Counseling and psychiatry

Family doctors spend a significant amount of time counseling patients with various psychiatric conditions, as well as those with unhealthy behaviors such as eating disorders or issues with weight management. The focus is assessing the patient’s condition, motivation level, and identifying the optimum treatment course for that individual. A mental health specialist will be referred for patients who are unwilling to participate in change or who’s substance abuse continues in spite of treatment.

Recovery support

The primary care provider plays a pivotal role in the recovery and support of patients suffering from addiction or mental health issues. This physician in particular sees the patient over an extended period of time, dealing with a variety of ailments seen in the patient’s medical history. Primary care physicians provide both emotional and medical support throughout the recovery process. By setting up customized treatments, monitoring progress, and assessing results, your doctor provides a comprehensive plan to get you back to your healthiest self. If you have decided to stop using alcohol or any other drug, be sure to let your doctor know. They can be instrumental in helping you to maintain long-term sobriety.

Your primary care physician can be a great tool in your arsenal for your behavioral or addiction treatments, as your overall body health and condition are a major factor in your probability for a successful treatment approach. They are a crucial part of the medical team that can help you get back to your healthiest self both physically and mentally.

For more information on behavioral health or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at (602) 362-2983!