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Experts at Harris Methodist Springwood Discuss Behavioral Health as Reason for Health Care Visits
05/29/2008

BEDFORD, Texas — A recent nationwide study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) revealed that depression and other behavioral health concerns are among the top three reasons patients seek medical care. Health care providers at Harris Methodist Springwood Hospital say that while patients are becoming better educated about mental health and the importance of treatment, there is still much to be done.

“Patients realize that their mental health is critical to their well-being. Depression is one of the most common, and treatable, diagnoses faced by adults across the U.S.,” said Dr. Charles Herlihy, medical director of behavioral health at Harris Methodist Springwood Hospital. “Yet, we know that there are many people out there suffering in silence because they may not know how or where to go for help.”

The national trends identified in the AHRQ analysis are mirrored across Tarrant County. With behavioral health noted as one of the leading reasons patients seek care, employees’ emotional well-being clearly has a substantial effect on business. In fact, about a quarter of the U.S. population suffers from a mental health issue, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. With behavioral health diagnoses projected to be the second leading cause of disability by 2020, businesses need to know where employees can turn for help.

A recent study of local employers by the Tarrant County Blue Ribbon Committee on Mental Health identified depression as the most critical mental health issue they faced in their business. Accessing care locally was noted by employers as a significant barrier for employees who need behavioral health care. The AHRQ study brings good news — patients increasingly seek out professional help, demonstrated by a 30 percent increase in clinical visits for mental health care since 1996.

Harris Methodist Springwood Hospital is home to the only non-profit, hospital-based program in Tarrant County that offers a complete range of services for psychiatric and addiction treatment. Flexible treatment plans allow patients and their caregivers to customize an individual treatment plan that they can integrate into their daily lives, while keeping their work, family and school commitments intact.

“We’ve seen that our community needs more resources for behavioral health and addiction treatment,” said Ramona Osburn, M.B.A., director of Harris Methodist Springwood Hospital. “We provide a full continuum of care for all ages, from inpatient to intensive outpatient services to satellite clinics. Our satellite outpatient clinics are particularly crucial, because they allow patients to receive the same quality of care at a location close to their homes.”

About Harris Methodist H•E•B Hospital
Harris Methodist H•E•B Hospital, an affiliate of Texas Health Resources, is a 284-bed, acute-care facility serving Northeast Tarrant County since 1973. Services provided at Harris Methodist H•E•B Hospital include outpatient surgery, women’s services, a level III neonatal intensive care unit, a dedicated oncology care unit, neurosurgery, cardiovascular surgery and a dedicated cardiac care unit, cardiac rehabilitation, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and psychiatric and addiction treatment.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR controls 13 affiliated hospitals and a medical research organization, and is a corporate member or partner in seven additional hospitals and surgery centers. THR’s family of hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.texashealth.org.

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