DENVER -- At Every Child Pediatric clinics, patients can get medical care and metal health care, all in one place. The clinic gives mental health questionnaires to screen for anxiety and depression. If a patient seems to have an issue, they can get help right away, in the same office.
Jordei, a 16 year old from Broomfield went through the process. “This has helped me,” he said.
When he was identified, he immediately met with Marisol Velez, a licensed professional counselor, who works in the clinic. She can meet with a patient five times, and then determine if more long term care is needed. Just this year she identified two teenagers who were suicidal at their visit, and she immediately sent them to the hospital.
The medical director, Dr. Laura Luzietti, says it makes sense to treat the whole person. “Abdominal pain can have a medical component. They can have an anxiety component, and a lot of times it’s not one or the other,” she said.
“I think it’s a really great to aspect to our program here, that we are able to have our patients have their mental health care needs met, along with their medical needs, all in the same place,” Luzietti said.
“We do see a fair amount of teens who will screen positive for depression or anxiety,” she said. Getting help quickly, right at the clinic, can prevent patients from falling through the cracks due to access or even stigma. “It’s very helpful for us to catch these things early and get them the help they need.”
The clinics are not alone in their approach. “It is becoming more and more of a trend,” she said.