Oasis Mental Health: Celebrating 10 Years and Poised for the New Future of Health Care

The holidays are over. Days are short. Nights are long. It's freezing outside. And those unwelcome guests — colds and flu — are back again.Is it any wonder more people feel depressed during the winter months?

Mild seasonal depression* is one thing, but depression that won't let up, that interferes with work and family life, is something else.At Oasis Mental Health, we recognize this difference. Next month marks our 10th anniversary providing prompt, professional treatment for adults, adolescents and children in a warm, caring environment right here in our community.

Before Oasis opened, it could take several weeks for patients to be seen by a psychiatrist, adding to the increase and severity in symptoms. At Oasis, we believe patients with mental health concerns should have access to quality care quickly, just as patients do with strictly medical concerns.

Before there was Oasis, patients who did not have a doctor or therapist for treatment of mental health issues would be seen in the hospital emergency room. This is not a very comfortable environment to be treated for depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns. Also, many emergency rooms do not have the staff to begin medications to treat mental health issues.

Over the years, Oasis has developed a strong partnership with the local medical community. Most of our patients are referred to Oasis by primary care physicians, pediatricians, and hospitals.

Family and friends are another important referral source. For spouses, parents, children and friends of those in treatment, it can be a stressful time. At Oasis, we provide information and referral services to help patients and their loved ones find the way to mental well-being.Oasis' success over the last 10 years makes us poised to respond to the changes in health care that will impact all of us in this new year.The Affordable Health Care Act is creating one of the largest expansions of mental health and substance use disorder coverage in a generation. With the passage of the new law, health insurance plans in the health insurance marketplaces will uniformly cover mental health and substance use disorder services.

Because of the law, health plans must now cover preventive services like depression screening for adults and behavioral assessments for children at no cost. And starting in 2014, most plans won't be able to deny you coverage or charge you more due to pre-existing health conditions, including mental illness.These changes, coupled with the success of medication and therapy in treating mental illness, make this an opportune time to seek help. As we have for the past 10 years, Oasis will continue to offer outstanding treatment, compassion and commitment to our patients and their loved ones. Our experienced and compassionate team works to ensure that no one has to walk this path to wellness alone.

Healthful food, regular sleep and enjoyable exercise often help with seasonal depression. If symptoms persist or increase in intensity, please call Oasis for an evaluation. We're here to help.

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Oasis: The Center for Mental Health
Call for an appointment: 410.571.0888
On the web: www.oasismentalhealth.net

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