052521- Mind Springs-CPT

Christopher Tomlinson/The Daily Sentinel

Michelle Hoy, executive vice president for Mind Springs Health, holds the national award that the organization recently won for a new system to treat patients more collaboratively and intensely right away.

There’s been a local, state and national outcry for a better treatment for mental health.

And, in the eyes of Michelle Hoy, executive vice president of Mind Springs Health, service providers weren’t meeting that demand enough.

So Hoy and Dr. Jules Rosen, former chief medical officer of Mind Springs, 515 28 3/4 Road, Bldg. A, developed Metricovery, a more intensive approach for care that has shown positive results in patients. For the initiative, The National Council for Mental Wellbeing awarded Mind Springs with one of its Awards of Excellence in a virtual conference earlier this month.

“This is like the Oscar’s of behavioral health,” Hoy said. “We were surprised to be recognized on such a national level because we’re just this little homegrown agency in western Colorado. But I didn’t get into this for recognition but for the service to the community.”

When you break your arm, a treatment begins right away with multiple doctors and in a methodical manner. That’s essentially the same concept with Metricovery.

Mind Springs takes a team approach with psychiatrists, therapists and other staff members to map out effective treatment and begin intensive treatment within four days, instead of months. They also meet regularly to refine their treatment plans.

According to Mind Springs’ research, the method appears to be working.“At six and 12 weeks, depression resolution rates are 63% and 78%, respectively. This is far superior to the national averages of 16% at 6 weeks and 33% at 12 weeks,” the website says.

And given how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected mental health, this came at a needed time.

Hoy said that the people who have come into Mind Springs since the pandemic began were having more intense episodes of mental illnesses and, therefore, have received more intense treatments.

TALK ABOUT IT MORE

Hoy thinks another important piece to treating mental health is destigmatizing it.

People can hide failing mental health easier than they can hide their physical health, she said. So people locally and nationally need to talk about it more. And if they do, then she thinks it will make a large impact.

“In the last three or four years, we’ve seen these athletes and celebrities talk about their depression and anxieties publicly. You never saw that seven years ago,” Hoy said. “It’s brave to talk about and we need to normalize it. When celebrities and athletes do it, it shows someone that they can have the same mental health issues that they can overcome and still be successful.”

She said she looks forward to the day when people suffering from mental illness (most of us have mental health issues in some form, she said) are no longer looked down upon — whether it be depression or schizophrenia.

Kevin Barclay, executive director of National Alliance on Mental Illness Western Slope, agrees that openness is vital.

“Think about when someone asks you how your day is in the office. You say, ‘fine’ and they say ‘fine’ but that’s just a lie. Sometimes you need to be honest about your struggles and say ‘I’m having a terrible day’ and they say the same. Suddenly, you’re on the same page and you have established that connection,’” Barclay said. “It’s all about taking the time to hear someone and be heard. It makes you feel safe.”