Mental health checkups might soon become part of your physical

2 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Thursday, March 12 2020 Mar 12, 2020 Thursday, March 12, 2020 12:14:00 PM CDT March 12, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
Source: NBC
By: Hope Beitchman, KOMU 8 Producer

More clinics are now integrating mental health checkups into your regular physicals.

Doctor Armeet Singh has been a pediatrician for four years. While there are different types of physicals your child might need, she says mental health checkups should be one of them.

"They are starting school that way they are a lot more focused on doing their best. From our side, if we haven't seen them for a year or two years then we get that opportunity to at least address with them as well," said Dr. Singh.

Patients are given questions to answer and with the assessment of Dr. Singh. They then may be referred to a mental health professional.

"By being able to just be a couple offices down. We have been able to improve the compliance and get the help where it's needed," Dr. Nikki Hayes, a licensed mental health professional, said.

Hayes says this also helps patients stay in one location that they are more comfortable in.

"Instead of having to go to the therapist or the community mental health agency and then doctors and then a specialist appointment. It's all in one location for them," Hayes said.

They hope the collaborations are also an opportunity to help people have those tough conversations and lower the stigma surrounded mental health.

"We have to view it the same way as you we view any other illness. You have diabetes we'll send you to a specialist for that. You have an eye problem we'll send you to a specialist for that. That's what the mental health professionals are for that," Singh said

Many insurance plans are beginning to cover mental health services. 

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