Mental Health

Table of Contents

  1. Managing Your Mental Health
  2. COVID-19 Pandemic and Stress
  3. Importance of Follow-Up after a Hospital Stay
  4. Martin’s Point Behavioral Health Care Management Program
  5. Pediatric Behavioral Health
  6. Other Behavioral Health Resources

Managing Your Mental Health

Mental health is an important part of overall health and well-being at every stage of life. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act and helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.

Many people are affected by mental health problems such as depression or panic disorders. These problems can make it harder to perform day-to-day activities, think clearly, and manage feelings. Some people may have difficulty around others or feel helpless and hopeless. Treatment can help them get back in control.

Reasons to seek care from a mental/behavioral health specialist:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic health conditions including pain; smoking cessation; changing lifestyle
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Depression
  • Family problems, domestic violence, sexual disorders, relational issues
  • Grief and loss
  • Mental illness, self-injury, anger management, emotional imbalance
  • Stress, sleep difficulties
  • Regarding children: toileting problems; parent guidance/coaching; depressed or anxious child; bullying/peer problems; gender issues

COVID-19 Pandemic and Stress

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives and it’s natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during this time. Social distancing can make us feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety.

Stress related to the pandemic can cause the following:

  • Feelings of fear, anger, sadness, worry, numbness, or frustration
  • Changes in appetite, energy, desires, and interests
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares
  • Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes
  • Worsening of chronic physical and mental health problems
  • Increased use of tobacco, alcohol, and other substances

Healthy ways to cope with stress include the following:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories
  • Take care of your body
  • Make time to unwind
  • Connect with others by phone, Zoom, or in-person following safety guidelines
  • Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

Authorization for Care

Martin’s Point Health Care contracts with Behavioral HealthCare Program (BHCP) to manage the behavioral health network and perform authorizations related to behavioral health care. BHCP is a Maine-based benefits management program which is part of the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization. They are dedicated to helping provide quality care. BHCP coordinates a network of mental health services in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. Using their knowledge of our region and our providers, they can guide you to the most suitable provider at the most appropriate level of care.  Their website, https://www.bhcp.org/, has many features including a current provider search function for members and providers and online treatment plan submission.

Importance of Follow-Up after a Hospital Stay

A hospitalization is a major and sometimes life-changing event in your life. The 30-day period following the discharge can be hard—physically and emotionally.  Studies have shown that, after hospitalization, nearly half of discharged patients will experience at least one issue that could lead to a readmission within 30 days. We want to prevent that from happening.

After you have been hospitalized, you may receive a call from the hospital, your provider’s office, or someone from the Martin’s Point Behavioral Health Care Management team. 

The behavioral health care manager will ask you some questions about your stay and will also do the following:

  • Review your medications and discharge instructions
  • Provide education on signs and symptoms of ongoing health problems
  • Help you navigate the health care system
  • Help connect you to community resources
  • Confirm follow-up office visits with your provider(s)

Here are a few things that you can do to prevent a readmission:

  • Attend a follow-up visits with your provider(s) soon after discharge to review your treatment plan and your medications.
    • If you have questions, create a list to ask at the appointment.
    • If you are on several medications, either write down the names, dosages, and frequency or bring the medications with you to the appointment.
  • Pick up all new medications at the pharmacy and take them as prescribed. Continue taking medications prescribed prior to your admission and continued after discharge. Discontinue medications no longer on your list.
  • Be aware of warning signs and symptoms related to your health condition so that you can seek guidance from your provider(s) earlier rather than later.  Request additional education and guidance from your provider(s).
  • If you have family or friends who are able and willing to help, accept their support until you begin to feel better.
  • Pay close attention to how you feel and communicate anything concerning to your provider(s). 

If you need additional assistance coordinating your care after discharge, Martin’s Point offers a care management transitions of care program that can help! Feel free to call 1-877-659-2403.

Importance of Communication among Medical and Behavioral Health Providers

A person who has a medical condition or needs may also have a behavioral condition or needs and vice versa. Your primary care provider (PCP) and your behavioral health care provider have different areas of expertise and it is very important to maintain visits with both. Open communication among all your providers is important to be sure you are getting the best care and assistance you need and to avoid medical errors or misses. To keep all your providers informed about your care, your provider may ask you to complete a medical release form for the purpose of sharing your records. 

Martin’s Point Behavioral Health Care Management Program

This program is offered at no cost and is designed to support best-practice care for all members. Our care managers are social workers with behavioral health training and expertise. A care manager may follow up after you are discharged from a hospital stay to help your transition. A care manager can also help address ongoing behavioral health needs.

A social work care manager will:

  • Call you to assess your behavioral health needs
  • Collaborate with your care team
  • Provide support and advocacy
  • Find local resources, providers, and community supports
  • Provide education around behavioral health needs 
  • Assist in preparation for your office visits
  • Follow up for up to six months

To contact a Martin’s Point behavioral health care manager, please call 1-877-659-2403.

Pediatric Behavioral Health

Did you know? One in six children 6-17 years old in the US experiences a mental health disorder each year.

It is important to watch for mental disorders in children and understand how they are treated because they can have a significant effect on overall health and relationships throughout life. Identifying problems early can help children get the support they need. At Martin’s Point, we want to work with your family to close any gaps in care that may be recommended for your child. Martin’s Point annually monitors the quality of our pediatric member’s behavioral health by claims submitted by their providers.

Source:
https://www.nami.org/mhstats
https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/index.html

Antipsychotic medications and needed monitoring

If your child or adolescent is aged 17 or under and is taking two or more antipsychotic medications listed below, they can have an increased risk for developing serious health complications associated with weight gain, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Given these risks and the potential for lifelong consequences, they should have annual blood sugar and cholesterol testing to ensure appropriate health management.

  • Aripiprazole (Abilify®)
  • Asenapine (Saphris®)
  • Brexipiprazole (Rexulti®)
  • Cariprazine (Vraylar®)
  • Chlorpromazine (Thorazine®)
  • Clozapine (Clozaril®)
  • Fluoxetine-olanzapine (Symbyax®)
  • Fluphenazine hydrochloride (Prolixin®)
  • Fluphenazine decanoate (Prolixin Decanoate®)
  • Haloperidol (Haldol®)
  • Haloperidol decanoate (Haldol Decanoate®)
  • Ilopendone (Fanapt®)
  • Loxapine
  • Lurisadone (Latuda®)
  • Molindone (Moban®)
  • Olanzapine (Zyprexa®)
  • Paliperidone (Invega®)
  • Paliperidone pamitate
  • Perphenazine (Trilafon®)
  • Perphenazine-amitriptyline (Triavil®)
  • Pimozide (Orap®)
  • Prochlorperazine (Compazine®)
  • Quetiapine fumarate (Seroquel®)
  • Risperidone (Risperdal®)
  • Thioridazine (Mellaril®)
  • Thiothixene (Navane®)
  • Trifluoperazine (Stelazine®)
  • Ziprasidone (Geodon®)

*Please contact the doctor who prescribes your child’s medication to request labs such as cholesterol and blood sugar levels if this is not already scheduled.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication and monitoring

If your child is between 6-12 years old and has been newly prescribed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication, they should have three follow-up care visits with the prescribing doctor within a 10-month period to assure the medication is working appropriately and there are no adjustments needed:

  • One within 30 days of when the first ADHD medication was filled
  • If the child remains on the following medication over six months, they should have at least two follow-up visits within nine months.
  • Atomoxetine (Strattera®)
  • Clonidine (Catapres®)
  • Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin®)
  • Dextroamphetamine (Adderall®)
  • Dextroamphetamine (Adderall®)
  • Guanfacine (Intiniv ER®)
  • Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse®)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin®)
  • Methamphetamine (Desoxyn®)

Martin’s Point Behavioral Health Pediatric Care Management Program

This program is offered at no cost and is designed to support best-practice care for young beneficiaries. Our care managers are social workers with behavioral health training and expertise. When our care managers are notified of a member’s behavioral health hospitalization they outreach to the family after discharge and, if needed, assist with coordination of care to assure a smooth transition.

A care manager will:

  • Call to assess the family’s and child’s needs
  • Collaborate with the care team
  • Provide support and advocacy
  • Find local resources, providers and community supports
  • Provide additional education regarding their conditions and the importance of follow
  • Assist in preparation for their office visits
  • Follow up as needed by the family and child

To contact a Martin’s Point pediatric behavioral health care manager, please call 1-877-659-2403

Other Behavioral Health Resources:

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Maine – 1-800-464-5767
https://www.namimaine.org/
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255

State-specific resources:

Maine
Crisis Hotline and Suicide Prevention Program
1-888-568-1112
https://www.maine.gov/suicide/help/signs.htm

New Hampshire
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
https://www.sprc.org/states/new-hampshire

Vermont
Suicide Prevention Center
https://vtspc.org/suicide-resources/get-help

New York
State Suicide Prevention
https://omh.ny.gov/omhweb/suicide_prevention

Massachusetts
Suicide Prevention Program
877-870-4673
https://www.mass.gov/suicide-prevention-program

Pennsylvania
Care Partnership
https://www.pacarepartnership.org/resources/crisis-and-hotlines