LifeMatters Counseling and Health Center is a unique outpatient health care facility that combines mental health and physical health care in a comprehensive, holistic manner by utilizing a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) in addition to mental health therapists. The FNP and therapists work collaboratively for each client to assess, diagnose, and treat client’s health issues. This approach utilizes a Holistic Care Model© in which consideration of multiple facets of a client's health (including physical, mental, spiritual, social, and emotional aspects) are assessed, treated, and considered equally important with respect to recovery from illness.
Not largely accepted in the mainstream medical or mental health community is the idea of mind and body connection, as evidenced by the clear differentiation in access to care between the two realms of health care provision. Such combination approaches are deemed “alternative” and are typically not reimbursed by many insurance policies. At LifeMatters Counseling and Health Center, Inc., our work is based on the philosophy of an inseparable connection between the mind and body- the complicated interactions that take place between thoughts, body, and the outside world. Mind/body medicine integrates modern scientific medicine, psychology, social work, nursing, nutrition, exercise physiology in order to promote the natural healing capacities of body and mind.
Studies show that between 60% and 90% of all physical health care provider visits are for stress-related complaints. In several surveys, Americans identify stress as their number one health concern today. More than 50% of adults in the U.S. report high stress on a daily basis. Untreated, stress can lead to anxiety, depression, relationship problems, social problems, and seriously cause or exacerbate conditions such as: joint pain, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, hypertension, repetitive strain injury, cardiac disorders, chronic pain, infertility, migraine headaches, diabetes, perimenopause/menopause and gastrointestinal disorders. Mind/body approach in health care is also helpful in reducing stress, promoting positive attitudes, decreasing symptoms and improving quality of life for persons with life-threatening illness. In addition, mind/body approaches can prevent disease, such as cardiovascular disease by helping individuals change adverse lifestyle behaviors that lead to both physical and mental illnesses.
At LifeMatters Counseling and Health Center, Inc., we provide this holistic blend of both medical and mental health assessment, diagnosis, and treatment that we maintain is crucial to improve the overall health the individual. This is provided in the following step wise manner:
- Each new client will complete a basic screening questionnaire upon their registration to LifeMatters Counseling and Health Center Inc. which collects information as to reasons for seeking treatment, social history/development/trauma/significant life events, education/employment (past & present), legal/criminal history, previous mental health treatment, significant family issues (past & current), drugs and alcohol (past & current), medical issues (past & current), preventative health care needs, review of symptoms, medications (past & current), exercise, nutrition, sleep, and any other significant information the client deems important to his or her health.
- The FNP along with the therapist will review the screening questionnaire and both will schedule initial (separate) visits with the client.
- At the initial visit, the FNP will perform a thorough medical history and appropriate exam, including preventative health screening, obtain a work up, provide an assessment and plan of care, and provide ongoing (non emergent) medical care.
- The FNP and the mental health therapist will collaborate on assessment and plan of care following their initial visits with the client as well as on a as needed basis thereafter.
This is a unique approach of collaboration between mental health providers and physical health care provided by a Family Nurse Practitioner, developed and is administered at LifeMatters Counseling and Health Center, Inc.