Studies show that depression gets worse as you get older. Some people may think that it’s normal to be sad as you age. A lot of changes happen when you’re in the later half of your life. Not all of them are good, but depression isn’t something you have to suffer through. It’s essential to take care of your mental health like you do with your physical health. After all, a healthy mind creates a healthy body.
A Healthy Mind Creates a Healthy Body
The CDC says that 20% of people over 55 have a mental health concern. Only 2/3 of that group get professional healthcare. While that’s worrying, it’s even worse because mental health issues can make treating physical health harder. While there is no clear cut connection between the two, doctors agree that one affects the other.
Professionals think that therapy should be better integrated into primary care. General practitioners and psychiatrists need to create better relationships with each other and use a collaborative care model. In this model, a psychiatrist is known as a behavioral health care manager and is a consult for your primary. Your primary will have some basic training to screen patients for mental health issues.
From there, your primary will refer you to the behavioral care manager instead of a psychologist. This will normalize mental health being part of your overall health. It will also get rid of the stigma that surrounds mental health problems.
This New Model in Action
A study used this collaborative model with a lot of success. The model doubled the efficiency of treating depression. Over a year, half of the patients reported around a 50% reduction in their depression symptoms compared with the 19% reduction in the control group.
This new model even saves money. Every dollar that’s spent in using the model, hospitals get 7 dollars back over the course of four years.
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