Assessing Your Mental Health

December 21, 2016

Along with staying physically healthy, it’s also important to take care of your mental health. If you’re struggling with depression or another mental health issue, help is available. Dodge Slagle, DO, Clinical Program Director of the Geropsychiatric Unit at Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center, offers insight.

Q: What kinds of mental health issues do seniors typically face?

Seniors can suffer from the same conditions as younger people, such as anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Declines in cognitive, memory and language abilities can also have an impact. Depression is the most prevalent mental health problem among older adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Q: What treatments are available?

Treatment may involve medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both. In many cases, different forms of behavioral therapy — for instance encouraging a person who is depressed to get more involved in the community – can help. Getting support from family and friends, or from community resources like support groups, can also be beneficial.

Q: How can The Valley Health System help?

Most older patients with a mental condition can and should be treated on an outpatient basis; other times, a hospital is the only safe place to stay until a patient gets stabilized. The Geropsychiatric Unit at Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center and the Behavioral Health Unit at Valley Hospital Medical Center offer dedicated inpatient care to help adults who are suffering with mental health issues.

Q: When should I seek help for a mental problem?

Any time your life is impaired or you’re not getting the satisfaction you feel is appropriate, you should consider getting help. Also, if you’re having thoughts of suicide or hopelessness, or having trouble taking care of yourself, talk with your doctor right away.

Learn more about Mental Health care at the Valley Health System

The Geropsychiatric Unit at Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center is dedicated to older adults suffering from mental health issues, including emotional or cognitive problems.

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Adults ages 18 and older who need inpatient treatment for a variety of mental health issues can get the medical care they need at the Behavioral Health Unit at Valley Hospital Medical Center.

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