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Introducing the Integration of Primary Care With Behavioral Health

Originally Posted On: Introducing the Integration of Primary Care With Behavioral Health (


If the past year has shown us anything, it is the importance of supportive mental health care. One of the bright spots in the pandemic was the normalization of the conversation around mental health. With everyone experiencing some level of anxiety, mental health issues were no longer something to be ashamed of or something that only other people had to deal with. We are all suffering from some increased level of anxiety and can appreciate the need to prioritize our total health care to include mental health issues. At last, we are realizing that mental healthcare is an important part of everyone’s basic healthcare needs. This realization can help to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental healthcare issues.

Integrating primary care with behavioral healthcare services further reduces the stigma surrounding mental healthcare by acknowledging that mental healthcare is an important piece of the overall wellness care package. Sage Neuroscience Center is proud to be leading the way in integrated health care in New Mexico. Our staff is made up of some of the most experienced and compassionate primary care doctors in Albuquerque. At Sage, primary care teams work closely together with our behavioral healthcare specialists to ensure that the treatment plan you and your team develop addresses the whole person and not just one limited piece of the wellness puzzle.

How Mental Health Stigmas Can Impact Your Healthcare

Stigmas associated with mental health are a result of misguided views on the nature of the illness. Unlike a broken bone, which is tangible, mental health issues such as depression can be more difficult to understand, both by the person and those around them.  Though these stigmas can be common, it is important not to accept them as just a part of life. Mental health stigmas can have a negative impact on a person’s ability to recognize and to seek treatment for their mental health conditions.

Mental health stigmas often became a part of a patient’s experience when interacting with their healthcare provider. Previously, it was more common that patients were reluctant to talk to their physician about the issues, and physicians often avoided bringing them up because they lacked the knowledge and experience dealing with behavioral and mental health conditions. Fortunately, things have changed. At Sage Neuroscience Center, we understand the importance of providing a primary care facility that fully embraces mental health and behavioral health as equal partners along with physical health as a part of whole-person wellness. We staff the most knowledgeable, highly qualified primary care physicians Albuquerque area residents need when they are looking for integrated health care.

Stigmas around mental health can be one of the biggest hurdles for people who live with mental health conditions. They can cause self-doubt or shame and lead you to become more isolated.   Mental health stigmas can also lead you to wrongly feel that your mental health condition is a sign of weakness or that it is something you should be able to control without additional help.

Identifying the root of your problem and developing an appropriate treatment plan can reduce your symptoms and make it easier to function at work and in your personal life.  Finding a facility that provides resources to educate yourself, counseling, and connection with others who share similar conditions can help to improve your self-esteem and reduce the negative impact of stigma-related self-doubt.

Why Comprehensive Care Is the Best Treatment Plan for Mental Health Issues

If you are experiencing mental health issues, you need a comprehensive treatment plan from experienced mental health providers. A comprehensive care treatment plan addresses the behavioral health issues, any substance abuse concerns, as well as physical health issues you may be experiencing in conjunction with any mental health-related concerns you have. Mental health issues seldom exist in a vacuum. They often lead to health issues or behavioral health issues as you try to self-medicate a mental health problem you are ignoring or unaware of.  In other cases, a mental health issue may be a result of a chronic health condition.

Studies have found that chronic medical conditions are consistently associated with an increase in the occurrence of symptoms associated with depression. Sometimes it is a direct biological effect of the medical issue itself, as is the case in endocrine disorders such as hypothyroidism or diseases of the central nervous system like Parkinson’s. In other cases, limitations caused by chronic illnesses can cause you to become depressed, as you are no longer able to do the things you enjoy.

Having a comprehensive healthcare plan that includes mental healthcare, behavioral health, and physical healthcare acknowledges the impact that each of these separate components has on the big picture that is your overall health. A comprehensive healthcare plan will also allow more direct communication between the care providers from each of the different areas of wellness practice. This type of collaboration provides for a more well-rounded approach to health care, and it avoids misdiagnosis due to a limited care provider who may be unfamiliar with behavioral health or mental healthcare issues.

Being able to have all of these components together under one roof can provide a number of benefits that would be unobtainable if you had to go to different medical practitioners at separate offices. The team at Sage Neuroscience can easily share patient information, and their insight from their particular area of expertise helps to work with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that meets your needs.

How Physical Healthcare Fits Into Your Comprehensive Treatment Plan

Physical HealthcarePhoto from Getty Images

Need help with your physical health? No matter what brings you to our facilities, Sage family medical care providers are available to treat your physical healthcare needs. Our team of professionals understands that physical healthcare is an important component in any comprehensive treatment plan. Before developing a healthcare plan, your primary healthcare team member will evaluate your overall physical condition to determine if there are any physical ailments that may be impacting your mental health or other concurrent health-related issues that may need to be addressed while developing your treatment plan.

Ensuring your primary health needs are met can go a long way towards supporting your mental health journey. Having a body that is in good physical health can help you to focus on taking care of the other parts of your wellness puzzle. Your primary care provider can give you the resources you need to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle to support your journey. Having a primary care provider as part of your comprehensive treatment team can lead to better healthcare since it is centrally located. This can also be a lower-cost alternative to seeking care at the emergency room. In addition, your health care provider is familiar with all the parts of your healthcare, and this ongoing relationship will make it easier for them to recognize any changes in your overall health.

Your primary care team will work with your behavioral healthcare providers to monitor the impact of any medication you may be taking during treatment. They can also suggest adjustments to the comprehensive plan based on any changes in your health.

Young adults and children can sometimes find it difficult to accurately communicate what they are feeling, leading parents or healthcare providers to miss early signs of mental health issues. This can result in struggling teens who fail to receive adequate mental health support until much later in their life. Our primary care physicians are well-versed in mental and behavioral health fields, and this makes them an excellent first point of contact in detecting potential mental health concerns and developing a comprehensive healthcare plan. The new patient appointment process will be explained by our team of providers on your first visit.

The Behavioral Healthcare Piece of Your Comprehensive Treatment Plan

Need help with your behavioral health? We provide a comprehensive treatment program from qualified and accredited therapists who have experience with a wide variety of behavioral health strategies and treatment options. Once you and your healthcare team have determined the components of your healthcare plan, your behavioral healthcare team members will work with you to determine which type of program is best suited for your needs.

Our team of experienced mental healthcare professionals offers behavioral health intensive outpatient services to help you learn the coping skills that can lead to a more fulfilling life.  These sessions meet three times a week to provide the resources and support when a weekly session isn’t quite enough. These intensive outpatient programs provide the mental health support you need while still allowing you to continue to live at home and go to school or work. This type of care can provide the extra counseling you may need when transitioning out of an inpatient facility.

Individual counseling can help your therapist to better understand your needs and provide a safe environment from which you can begin to explore the roots of your behavioral health issues.  Group therapy offers you a chance to connect with other people who are facing similar struggles. Having a supportive environment can help you navigate your mental and behavioral health issues more easily. Incorporating counseling sessions and individual or group therapy programs can help to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues by helping you recognize that you are not alone in this journey. Being a part of group therapy sessions can also provide you with additional resources and healthy coping strategies based on the experiences of members of your group.

Choose Sage Neuroscience Center for Integrated Primary Healthcare

Sage Neuroscience Center for Integrated Primary HealthcareThe integration of primary care with behavioral health provides a more holistic approach to mental healthcare. By acknowledging the equal importance and interconnectedness of each of the components — physical health, mental health, and behavioral outcomes — our team of healthcare providers can work together to provide the best-individualized treatment plan for your needs.

If you are searching for doctors in Albuquerque accepting new patients, look no further. Sage Neuroscience Center is the leading integrated primary care provider in New Mexico. We offer a comprehensive medical facility where primary care and behavioral health are connected to provide a personalized program for each person.

If you’re interested in becoming a patient, please feel free to call or start by filling out our new patient interest form here.

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