We know that mental health and physical health are linked. That’s why, when you have a mental illness, it’s important to keep tabs on your physical health as well.
We talked to Patty, Health Home Specialist on Guild’s Behavioral Health Home (BHH) team, about the importance of having a Primary Care Provider.
Q: In what ways do individuals with a serious mental illness struggle with their health?
Patty: When you’re struggling with your mental health, it can affect your ability to make healthy decisions. Mental and physical health really go hand in hand, so when you’re not taking care of one it definitely can affect the other. Access to providers is a barrier for many or even the knowledge of who they should see and where to start looking for providers. These are just a few barriers that our clients can face.
Q: What prevents individuals with a mental illness from going to the doctor?
Patty: Some of the common barriers that prevent individuals from going to the doctors can be difficulty finding the right providers, transportation, stable housing, concerns about stigma, and difficulty accessing resources. These are just a few of the issues that can prevent individuals from getting the help they need.
Q: Why is it important to regularly see a Primary Care Provider when you have a mental illness?
Patty: A primary care physician is important to help individuals navigate the health care system by coordinating and managing the client’s care. They also educate clients so they can make informed decisions about their health.
Q: Why are Guild’s BHH services important?
Patty: We focus on both the physical and mental health of our clients. We believe it’s important to meet our clients where they are with both their physical and mental health. BHH uses social and community supports to help the clients meet their goals. We connect them to doctors and services they otherwise wouldn’t have access to or knowledge about. Because we meet them out in the community, we learn more about the clients and how we can help them meet the goals they set for themselves.
Refer Yourself to BHH Services
If you’re in need of assistance, you can refer yourself to Guild’s BHH services. To get started, call Guild’s BHH team at (651) 286-8605. If you are interested in learning more about other Guild programs, call Community Access at (651) 925-8490.