Kokoro Health offers a wide variety of psychiatric services
including medication management (for Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Eating Disorders, Social Anxiety Disorder, Trichotillomania, Skin Picking Disorder. etc.) We offer diagnostic evaluation for Attention Deficit Disorder including computer testing, and bariatric pre-surgical assessment. We make referrals when needed for neuropsychiatry testing (for diagnostic clarification and treatment recommendations), therapy, nutritional consultation and more.
Medication management helps to promote the safe use of medications and help people achieve the best results from their medication for their mental health symptoms. For those with mental health disorders, medication management is often an important part of the recovery process when used in an effective way as part of the overall treatment. Although medication is not for everyone, our goal is to use the least amount of medication with the most efficacy. We strive to consider the side effect profile along with utilizing evidenced based practice and we pride ourselves on choosing medications customized to each individual needs.
Unlike diabetes or cancer, there is no medical test that can provide a diagnosis of mental illness. A health care professional can do a number of things in an evaluation including a physical exam and long term monitoring to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be causing symptoms.
Once other medical conditions are ruled out, a person might be referred to a mental health professional that will use The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5), to make a diagnosis. The DSM-5, published by the American Psychiatric Association lists criteria including feelings, symptoms and behaviors over a period of time that a person must meet in order to be officially diagnosed with an illness.
Why A Diagnosis Matters
A medical professional determines a diagnosis by interviewing you about your history of symptoms. Sometimes a doctor will require a couple of medical tests to rule out possible physical ailments, but we cannot evaluate mental health itself through blood tests or other biometric data. Instead, doctors use their experience to determine how your set of symptoms fit into what we know about mental health.
The diagnosis is an important tool for you and your mental health provider who will use a diagnosis to advise you on treatment options and future health risks.
Having a diagnosis empowers you to then move forward with treatment for better control over your symptoms and life in general.
Attention Deficit Disorder Testing
We use screening tools, interviewing, and computerized testing as well as looking at previous records to determine a diagnosis for Attention deficit disorder. It is very important to give this process a thorough look to determine if medication is needed, Many undiagnosed mental health disorders can feel like ADD symptoms. Treating for the correct symptoms is extremely important as getting the diagnosis incorrect can lead to a decline in overall status.
We make appropriate referrals as needed for all types of therapy, neuropsychiatry testing, TOVA testing, Autism assessment, Dietician, Chronic pain management, Physical and Occupational Therapy and more. We may also recommend testing through Primary care such as lab work, EKG, or a sleep study when indicated.
Bariatric Pre-Surgical Assessments
Bariatric Surgery is a tremendous life change, and we want to make sure you are able to meet its challenges.
The pre-surgical psychological evaluation covers a number of issues that pertain to your weight and your decision to have bariatric surgery. The evaluation is one piece of a multi- disciplinary assessment that involves pulling together information gathered from the medical, surgical, nutritional and psychiatric team members. Components of the evaluation are outlined below. For example, the nurse practitioner will review your weight and dieting history, identify any psychiatric disorders (with specific attention to disordered eating), assess your understanding of the risks and benefits of surgery, and appraise your motivation, awareness and ability to make the types of changes required for a positive outcome. The goal of the evaluation is to assess-- from a psychosocial perspective –whether there are any barriers that may interfere with your safety and with having a positive adjustment to your surgical procedure.
Components of Pre-Bariatric Psychological Evaluation
General psychological evaluation
Diagnoses on Axis I and II with specific attention to eating disorders (binging and purging)
Assessment of eating and exercise patterns o Weight and dietary history
Medical and psychological history
Mental status exam
Understanding of risks and benefits of surgery
Assessment of motivation for surgery
Ability to follow pre-operative directions
Ability to cooperate with post-operative behavioral changes
Summary, impression and recommendations
Consulting PMHNP's and PMHNP Students
Shannon is now offering consultation services for PMHNP students or new PMHNP's . She has precepted often over the past 5 1/2 years and her first Master's Degree is in nursing education. She enjoys working with students and NP's to help them build their knowledge and offers informed advice for . their practice and career choice.
Eating Disorder Treatment
Medication management for the treatment of eating disorders incudes the following:
Screening for the presence of an eating disorder as part of an initial psychiatric evaluation.
Conducting comprehensive patient evaluations, including laboratory tests and electrocardiograms.
Ensuring the treatment plan is patient-centered and culturally sensitive.
Setting individualized weight goals for patients with anorexia.
Referring patients with anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorders with a therapist trained in eating-disorder–focused psychotherapy.
Incorporating family-based therapy as part of a treatment plan for adolescents with anorexia or bulimia.