Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. — 43.8 million, or 18.5% — experiences behavioral health issues in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Locally in Nebraska, over 17% of adults experience mental illness, which translates to approximately 325,000 adults affected by some type of mental illness in a given year. This data was reported in the Nebraska Behavioral Health Needs Assessment. As a society, we are becoming better at discussing our mental and behavioral health, however, there are still stigmas surrounding behavioral healthcare treatment.
Bluestem Health takes an integrated approach to your health. The Medical and Behavioral Health providers at Bluestem Health in Lincoln are passionate about helping people who suffer from behavioral health issues. They understand how mental health plays an important role in maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
Integrated Care Improves Overall Health
During the past few years, Bluestem Health has been implementing an integrated care model of medicine that allows for Mental Health and Psychiatric providers to work within the primary care setting. The integrated care model has been promoted as a potential solution for increasing access to behavioral healthcare as noted in the Nebraska Behavioral Health Assessment, 2016. The report identifies the need to continue to recruit and retain behavioral health specialists in rural communities, and that integrated care can help reduce the burden of preventing and managing chronic medical conditions, prolong life expectancy, and improve the quality of life. This approach holds great promise for increasing access to behavioral health treatment and more positive outcomes.
One of the greatest challenges the Bluestem Behavioral Health team faces is coordinating care and making sure patients have access to all the services they need. Due to fragmented healthcare over the years, patients have encountered difficulty in receiving required services, such as access to local resources and therapy services, filling medications regularly, and needed medical care that affects patient outcomes. These gaps in care are exactly what an integrated care model of healthcare helps to prevent. Bluestem Health providers are able to streamline the process much better for our patients and to provide all aspects of care here or in collaboration with our community partners.
Mental Health Providers Who Understand
Our Behavioral Health team includes Behavioral Health Consultants, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed mental health professionals who see patients for counseling and support, and help with patient care plans and assessment of the patient's needs throughout their care at Bluestem Health. Working in this model with primary care providers, our behavioral health team is consulted to assist with the assessment and treatment of patients in need of mental health services. At times, this may entail collaboration and discussion with primary care providers and behavioral health consultants only to establish or update patient care plans. At other times, they may meet with a patient face-to-face in a clinic setting to gather more information and/or discuss treatment options with the patient and their family.
Our Behavioral Health team is continually collaborating with the patient's primary care provider who oversees the patient's overall healthcare and treatment plan.
Our Behavioral Health Consultants do not provide traditional 50 minute therapy sessions, but are integrated into the primary care setting to help the medical provider with mental health, addiction, or substance abuse issues. The Bluestem Health clinics have dedicated providers that are ready to serve you.
Heather Nielsen, APRN-PMHNP, Psychiatric-Mental Health Advanced Practitioner
Shay Piel, PLICSW, Provisional Licensed Independent Social Worker
Heather Swezey, LIMHP, Licensed Independent Mental Health Professional
Brenda Merideth, LIMHP, MSW, Licensed Independent Mental Health Professional
Whole-person healthcare is Bluestem Health’s passion. Our Behavioral Health team allows us to treat psychiatric concerns with primary care providers and behavioral consultants in a team-based approach, and are able to better connect all areas of health in a person’s life.
To schedule an appointment with a Behavioral Health Consultant, you must be seen by a Bluestem Health family medicine provider first. For an appointment call: (402) 476-1455 or visit us online at bluestemlincoln.com.