“What can I expect during my first visit with a Behavioral Health specialist at Lone Star Circle of Care?”
The first visit includes an intake by a therapist/counseling professional or a psychiatrist. During the intake, you will be asked about your past and most current behavioral health history:
- Date and location of any previous behavioral health diagnosis
- Who provided your diagnosis
- Your current symptoms and needs
- What behavioral health medicines you have taken
- Your current medications, supply of medications remaining/refills
- Past hospitalizations for behavioral health
- Past counseling history
- Past and current substance use history
- Family history of behavioral health
- Past and current stressors
- History of trauma/abuse
The intake also includes questions regarding your general health, medical problems, medications, and family history. During the intake appointment, you will receive information about the type of services offered by LSCC-Behavioral Health, recommendations for treatment and assistance in making appointments/follow-up visits.
Additionally during the intake, you may be asked to sign an Authorization to Release Information Form to request behavioral health and/or primary health information from previous/current providers.
If your intake is completed by a psychiatrist, your visit may include obtaining prescriptions for behavioral medications. If your intake is completed by a therapist/ professional counselor, you will be assisted with making an appointment with an LSCC psychiatrist if indicated.
“When will I be able to see the psychiatrist?”
Appointment scheduling for psychiatric services at Lone Star Circle of care is based on individual patient need including diagnosis, treatment history and severity of symptoms reviewed during the behavioral health intake process. Additionally, the Lone Star Circle of Care therapist who conducts the intake during your first visit can assist you in reviewing continuing care options such as establishing primary health care services at Lone Star Circle of Care and/or communicating with your existing primary health provider in requesting assistance with evaluation/continuation of prescription medications. In more urgent circumstances, the intake therapist can assist you in accessing urgent care and emergency behavioral health services.
“Do I need medications?”
Medications treat the symptoms of mental disorders. They cannot cure the disorder, but they make people feel and function better. Medications work differently for different people. Some people get great results from medications and only need them for a short time. For example, a person with depression may feel much better after taking a medication for a few months, and may never need it again. People with disorders like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or people who have long-term or severe depression or anxiety may need to take medication for a much longer time. Some people may need to take medications for the rest of their lives.
Doses can be small or large, depending on the medication and the person. Factors that can affect how medications work in people include:
- Type of mental disorder, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia
- Age, sex, and body size
- Physical illnesses
- Habits like smoking and drinking
- Liver and kidney function
- Other medications and herbal/vitamin supplements
- Whether medications are taken as prescribed.
Medications may also need to be adjusted or changed over the course of time, which is why it is important to work with your psychiatrist in starting and managing your behavioral medications.
Information provided for this section came from the National Institutes of Mental Health- .