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Frequently Asked Questions

Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Some of the more common disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and/or social withdrawal. When these occur in children under 18, they are referred to as serious emotional disturbances (SEDs). Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion, or income.

Here are some important facts about mental illness and recovery:

Mental illnesses are biologically‐based brain disorders. They cannot be overcome through “will power” and are not related to a person’s “character” or intelligence.

It is estimated that mental illness affects 1 in 5 or 43.8 million adults in America. Mental disorders fall along a continuum of severity. Even though mental disorders are widespread in the population, the main burden of illness is concentrated in a much smaller proportion, nearly 10 million Americans, or 1 in 25 people suffer from a serious mental illness.

Mental illnesses usually strike individuals in the prime of their lives, often during adolescence and young adulthood. All ages are susceptible, but the young and the old are especially vulnerable.

The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 and 90 percent of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments and supports.

With appropriate effective medication and a wide range of services tailored to their needs, most people who live with serious mental illnesses can significantly reduce the impact of their illness and find a satisfying measure of achievement and independence. A key concept is to develop expertise in developing strategies to manage the illness process.

Early identification and treatment is of vital importance. By ensuring access to the treatment and recovery supports that are proven effective, recovery is accelerated and the further harm related to the course of illness is minimized.

Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home. According to the DSM‐5, a diagnosis of substance use disorder is based on evidence of impaired control, social impairment, risky use, and pharmacological criteria.

http://www.samhsa.gov/disorders/substance-use

Excessive alcohol use can increase a person’s risk of developing serious health problems in addition to those issues associated with intoxication behaviors and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol use causes 88,000 deaths a year.

To be diagnosed with an AUD, individuals must meet certain diagnostic criteria. Some of these criteria include problems controlling intake of alcohol, continued use of alcohol despite problems resulting from drinking, development of a tolerance, drinking that leads to risky situations, or the development of withdrawal symptoms. The severity of an AUD ‐ mild, moderate, or severe ‐ is based on the number of criteria met.

Learn more about alcohol from the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs topic. Learn more about the treatments for AUD. Find more information at the NIAAA website.

http://www.samhsa.gov/disorders/substance-use

According to the CDC, more than 480,000 deaths each year are caused by cigarette smoking. Tobacco use and smoking do damage to nearly every organ in the human body, often leading to lung cancer, respiratory disorders, heart disease, stroke, and other illnesses.

In 2014, an estimated 66.9 million Americans aged 12 or older were current users of a tobacco product (25.2%). Young adults aged 18 to 25 had the highest rate of current use of a tobacco product (35%), followed by adults aged 26 or older (25.8%), and by youths aged 12 to 17 (7%).

In 2014, the prevalence of current use of a tobacco product was 37.8% for American Indians or Alaska Natives, 27.6% for whites, 26.6% for blacks, 30.6% for Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, 18.8% for Hispanics, and 10.2% for Asians.

For information and strategies to help you or a loved one stop smoking or using tobacco, visit SAMHSA’s Treatments for Substance Use Disorders page. To find out more about smoking and tobacco, visit the CDC website.

http://www.samhsa.gov/disorders/substance-use

Opioids reduce the perception of pain but can also produce drowsiness, mental confusion, euphoria, nausea, constipation, and, depending upon the amount of drug taken, can depress respiration. Illegal opioid drugs, such as heroin and legally available pain relievers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone can cause serious health effects in those who misuse them. Some people experience a euphoric response to opioid medications, and it is common that people misusing opioids try to intensify their experience by snorting or injecting them. These methods increase their risk for serious medical complications, including overdose. Other users have switched from prescription opiates to heroin as a result of availability and lower price. Because of variable purity and other chemicals and drugs mixed with heroin on the black market, this also increases risk of overdose. Overdoses with opioid pharmaceuticals led to almost 17,000 deaths in 2011. Since 1999, opiate overdose deaths have increased 265% among men and 400% among women.

In 2014, an estimated 1.9 million people had an opioid use disorder related to prescription pain relievers and an estimated 586,000 had an opioid use disorder related to heroin use.

Symptoms of opioid use disorders include strong desire for opioids, inability to control or reduce use, continued use despite interference with major obligations or social functioning, use of larger amounts over time, development of tolerance, spending a great deal of time to obtain and use opioids, and withdrawal symptoms that occur after stopping or reducing use, such as negative mood, nausea or vomiting, muscle aches, diarrhea, fever, and insomnia. Learn more about opioids from the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs topic. For information about the treatment of opioid use disorder, visit SAMHSA’s Treatments for Substance Use Disorders page.

http://www.samhsa.gov/disorders/substance-use

Marijuana is the most‐used drug after alcohol and tobacco in the United States. According to SAMHSA data:

In 2014, about 22.2 million people ages 12 and up reported using marijuana during the past month.

Also in 2014, there were 2.6 million people in that age range who had used marijuana for the first time within the past 12 months. People between the ages of 12 and 49 report first using the drug at an average age of 18.5.

In the past year, 4.2 million people ages 12 and up met criteria for a substance use disorder based on marijuana use. Marijuana’s immediate effects include distorted perception, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and loss of motor coordination. Long‐term use of the drug can contribute to respiratory infection, impaired memory, and exposure to cancer‐causing compounds. Heavy marijuana use in youth has also been linked to increased risk for developing mental illness and poorer cognitive functioning.

Some symptoms of cannabis use disorder include disruptions in functioning due to cannabis use, the development of tolerance, cravings for cannabis, and the development of withdrawal symptoms, such as the inability to sleep, restlessness, nervousness, anger, or depression within a week of ceasing heavy use.

Learn more about cannabis from the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs topic. For information about the treatment of cannabis use disorder, visit SAMHSA’s Treatments for Substance Use Disorders page.

Red Rock Behavioral Health Services staff will meet with you to learn more about you, your family, and your needs. When you get to your first appointment the front desk staff will need a few items. Please bring the following items:

• A photo ID,

• proof of income verified by any of the following:

‐ W2,

‐ Income Tax return,

‐ Two recent consecutive pay check stubs showing pay date, hours worked,

‐ Verification of income from current employer,

‐ Government document that verifies income (such as SSI/SSDI letter, unemployment, disability, etc.),

‐ Copy of bank statement showing SSI/SSDI deposit,

• Copy of your insurance card,

• Copy of your Social Security card

When you meet with a Clinical staff person there is additional information we need to collect. They will ask you to complete some screening forms to learn about events that may have occurred in your lifetime that may be contributing to you problems today. Screening documents include: depression screening, trauma screening, gambling screening, and substance use screening. The Clinical staff will inform you of our privacy practices, ask if you would like to designate a Treatment Advocate, which is someone that you want to be part of your treatment, and act in your behalf if you are unable in a crisis situation. They will also ask for a contact name and phone number for someone to contact in case of emergency and collect any co‐pay due based on your insurance coverage. You will fill out a Request for Services to tell us why you are here today. Sometimes gathering this information takes more than one session. We will move at your own pace and if it takes longer than one session, that is OK.

Clinical staff will gather more information to complete a full assessment which may take two to three sessions before completed. An assessment helps us to learn about your life up until now and helps us to develop a Service Plan with you. The Service Plan will outline the services you will receive and set goals for what you want to accomplish in treatment. When the Assessment is complete and the Service Plan is complete, the Clinical staff you have met with will present this information to a Treatment Team. The Treatment Team are a group of clinical staff including, doctors, therapists, case managers, peer staff and family support staff who will learn about your needs and based on their area of expertise will be assigned to help you. There may be several meetings with staff to get to know you and your needs. We thank you for choosing Red Rock as your treatment provider and hope that this helps you understand what to expect as you begin your recovery process.

Red Rock treats a variety of different mental health issues and substance abuse issues, such as Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Alcohol Use Disorder, and so on. If you are struggling with symptoms of a mental health or substance abuse issue and you are not sure if we treat it, feel free to call our Access Center to inquire about it.

A mental health assessment gives an overall picture of how well you feel emotionally and how well you are able to think, reason, and remember (cognitive functioning). You will be asked questions and examined. You might answer some of the questions in writing. Attention is paid to your mood, behavior, thinking, reasoning, memory, and ability to express yourself. You may be asked questions about how you get along with other people, including your family and friends. A mental health assessment is done to: Assess for mental health problems and general functioning abilities. Evaluates a person who has been referred for mental health treatment because of problems at school, work, or home.

These are often referred by DHS or the court system, and the cost is $300.

Psychiatrist — Psychiatrists are medical doctors (M.D.) or doctors of osteopathy (O.D.) who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illnesses. After medical school, they complete at least another four years of residency training. A psychiatrist who passes certain exams can be certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Some psychiatrists seek further training to specialize in certain areas, such as children and adolescent, geriatric, or addiction psychiatry. Because they’re medical doctors, psychiatrists can prescribe medications.

APRN — Advanced practice registered nurses (A.P.R.N.) have at least a master’s degree in psychiatric‐mental health nursing. In general, they can diagnose and treat mental illnesses, and in many states they’re authorized to prescribe medications. They also may be qualified to practice independently, without the supervision of a doctor.

Psychologist — Psychologists are specialists in psychology, a science that deals with the mind, mental processes, and behaviors. There are many types. Those who treat mental illnesses are generally clinical or counseling psychologists. The title “psychologist” is usually used for those who have a doctoral degree (Psy.D. or Ph.D.), advanced training, and certain licensing and certification.

Therapist — A therapist is usually either fully licensed or under supervision to become fully licensed. They hold a licensed referred to as LPC, LCSW, and LADC to mention a few (Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, respectively). Therapists provide therapy using various theoretical orientations, including CBT, REBT, Motivational interviewing, DBT to mention a few. Their purpose is to set goals with their clients and work together towards meeting those goals.

Case Manager Mental Health Counselors — Case Manager is a term used to describe a person that helps link, advocate, and facilitate services for a client. They typically have a Bachelor’s degree in mental health. The primary responsibility of the certified Behavioral Health Case Manager is to ensure implementation of the comprehensive care plan, which will include mental health goals, physical health goals, and other life domain goals for achievement of clinical outcomes consistent with the needs and preferences of the member. A Case manager also coordinates approved services, facilitates communication between various service providers with DHS or other referral sources; advocates on behalf of each consumer to ensure that treatment and reintegration plans are being followed, and assists the consumer, family, and referral source in arranging follow up support services, as well as educates and supports consumers’ families.

PRSS — The Recovery Support Specialist (RSS) performs rehabilitation and support functions and assists in treatment. He or she provides substance abuse services, education, support and consultation to families. The RSS performs direction and coordinating support activities that promote good physical health; provides peer support services; serves as a client advocate; provides information and peer support for clients in emergency, outpatient or inpatient settings. He or she performs a wide range of tasks to assist clients in regaining control of their lives and recovery processes.

You can expect to receive exceptional services that are both unique to your needs and culturally sensitive. There is not a one‐size‐fits all mental health treatment or substance use treatment. First, you are assessed to determine if our services would be beneficial. Next, you will go through a process that includes screening, needs, and intake. A treatment plan is developed with your input. The treatment plan becomes a map that will guide you and your practitioner towards meeting objectives and ultimately your long‐term goal.

Parents/guardians are encouraged to be involved with their child’s therapy. During the screening and assessment process, it is essential that the parent be present to help the therapist learn about the child’s history related to educational, behavioral, emotional health. Therapy is a private process and for your child to benefit from therapy a confidential relationship must exist between the child and therapist. The therapist will not be able to tell parents what goes on during the session. That does not mean that the parent will not be involved. A regular meeting with the parent and therapist is beneficial to help the parent learn techniques to help support the therapy session. The therapist will make sure that your child understands that the meeting between you and the therapist is not to discuss what goes on in session. It is to help the parent learn how to support them to recover.

Some therapies do require that the parent/guardian is involved in every session. Parent‐Child‐Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is one of those therapies. It is a therapy for parents and children under the age of 8. Parents are required to attend every session because parents are learning how to support their child through coaching sessions with the therapist.

Parents should discuss with the therapist during the first appointments how involved they should be in the therapy process.

Red Rock accepts many insurances. When you call for services, you will be asked about your coverage. At your first appointment, please bring your insurance card to your appointment. For persons without insurance coverage, the business office will check to see if your income meets guidelines to qualify for reduced rates or state/grant funding for services. Services are funded by state and federal funding through Medicaid and Medicare as well. If your insurance has a copay, you will be asked to pay that amount each time you have an appointment. The staff at Red Rock will assist you by checking your insurance coverage and letting you know what is covered.

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