Five-Star Customer CARE

Five-Star Employee Recognition

Image of AltaPraise logo and past stars

AltaPraise is AltaPointe’s employee recognition program that allows anyone – patients, coworkers, family members or others – to recognize an AltaPointe team who has shown exceptional customer service.

Submitting a Team AltaPraise is easy. The easiest way to submit a Team AltaPraise is by completing an online submission form.

Click a title below to review information.

You have duties too. You should:

  • Respect other people.
  • Talk to your staff.
  • Not touch other people in the wrong way.
  • Not run away.
  • Not break things.
  • Take your medicine.
  • Not hurt other people or fight.
  • Go to school.
  • Follow the rules.
  • Join in activities.
  • Do your chores.

10 tips for how to promote good mental health this summer

 

The weather isn’t the only thing changing this summer season. With the warm breeze, comes an opportunity for you to improve your mental health. We live in a demanding and busy world – so this summer, take some time to assess and strengthen your mental health. Try our ten tips to promote good mental health and say hello to a more positive, healthier you.

1. Identify one thing that you are grateful for during the day
2. Plan a getaway to look forward to even if it’s a day at the local beach
3. If you are having a tough day, talk to yourself like you would talk to your best friend
4. Take a minute to be quiet. Sit outside, listen to the summer sounds, and take deep breaths
5. Spend time with a friend that makes you laugh
6. It may not be the easiest, but smile – it can help to lower your blood pressure
7. Avoid self-medicating with alcohol or other drugs
8. Get outside and do something!
9. Sing. Sing in your car. Sing in the shower. Sing doing housework. Sing while you cook!
10. Do something for someone ELSE

AltaPointe Health is a behavioral healthcare and psychiatric hospital system based in Mobile, Ala., and offers services to residents of Mobile, Baldwin, and Washington counties as well as individuals living in Clay, Coosa, Randolph and Talladega counties in east-central Alabama.

AltaPointe employs 1,450 people and provides inpatient, outpatient, and residential healthcare services to more than 30,000 individuals annually.

About your medicine. You have the right to:

  • Take medicine only if the doctor says you should.
  • Know about your medicine and how it can make you feel better.
  • Not take the medicine unless a judge says you have to.

About your medicine. You have the right to:

  • Take medicine only if the doctor says you should.
  • Know about your medicine and how it can make you feel better.
  • Not take the medicine unless a judge says you have to.

About your treatment. You have the right to:

  • Be safe from harm while you are here.
  • Have your record kept private unless there is an emergency.

About your treatment. You have the right to:

  • Be safe from harm while you are here.
  • Have your record kept private unless there is an emergency.

Adjustment Disorder

Adjustment Disorder is defined as an emotional behavioral reaction to an identifiable stressful event or change in a person’s life. The event or change is considered to be maladaptive or somehow not an expected healthy response to the event or change. Symptoms generally lessen as the stress diminishes or as the person adapts to the stress. Approximately 5 percent to 20 percent of the individuals in outpatient mental health treatment have a principal diagnosis of adjustment disorder.

Effective treatments for adjustment disorders include psychotherapy, family therapy, and possible medication if symptoms are severe.

Ageism in Medicine Must Stop, Experts Say

 

Ageism is not only prevalent in society, it’s also widespread in medical education and in the clinic. This situation, say leading experts, results in substandard care and poor outcomes for older patients.

A symposium here at the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) 2018 Annual Meeting focused on this problem and possible solutions.

Kirsten Wilkins, MD, associate professor of psychiatry and psychiatry clerkship director at Yale University School of Medicine, West Haven, Connecticut, told meeting attendees that thinking of older people as innocent, cute, adorable, or fragile and in need of protection may seem positive but in fact reflect stereotypes. Such attitudes, as well as infantilizing elderly patients, may seem helpful but are aspects of inherent bias.

“This can lead to some paternalistic prejudice. These patronizing behaviors may seem benign, but they’ve actually been associated with negative health outcomes,” said Wilkins.

Unlike racism and sexism, “ageism is the only ‘ism’ that is socially sanctioned and considered to be normative,” said Susan W. Lehmann, MD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

“We don’t really acknowledge ageism, but it’s in medical education settings. It’s in the hospital where we’re training our residents and where we’re training our medical students,” said Lehmann, who is also director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Day Hospital Program at Johns Hopkins.

Seeing Beyond the Stereotype

W. Bogan Brooks, MD, psychiatry clerkship director, University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile, noted that previous research has shown that ageism can lead to undertreatment, particularly for complaints of pain, fatigue, depression, sexual disorders, and cognitive impairment, as well as overtreatment, with needless tests, procedures, medications, and admissions to the intensive care unit.

“On the average, an older adult goes to see the doctor about 12 times a year. These doctor visits represent a lot of opportunities for physicians,” said Brooks. But past research has shown that “because of ageist attitudes, doctors can be guilty of undertreating conditions if they attribute patient complaints to ordinary aspects of aging.

“Alternatively, doctors can be guilty of overtreatment if they label expected changes as a disease,” he added.

American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) 2018 Annual Meeting. Session 108, presented March 15, 2018.

Deborah Brauser, March 19, 2018

Full article: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/894078#vp_1

AltaPointe Health, Cheaha Regional Mental Health Center join forces

Merger:  AltaPointe Health, Cheaha Regional Mental Health Center join forces

Patients can expect better access to services and a broader continuum of care

The merger of AltaPointe Health and Cheaha Regional Mental Health Center (CRMHC) became official, Aug. 1, 2016, making AltaPointe the largest and most comprehensive behavioral healthcare provider in the state. This is only the second merger of two Alabama community mental health centers with the first coming in 2014 when AltaPointe and Baldwin County Mental Health Center merged.

CRMHC headquartered in Sylacauga, will now operate under the name and corporate umbrella of AltaPointe, which is headquartered in Mobile.

“AltaPointe began a new and exciting era this week,” Tuerk Schlesinger, AltaPointe CEO, said. “The southwest and central northeast regions of Alabama now have a better, broader-based system in place to provide additional as well as more accessible behavioral healthcare services.”

The merger came about, in part, because of decreased and stagnant funding of behavioral healthcare services. Major changes on the horizon for the behavioral healthcare industry that will require increased financial resources were also a catalyst.

The merger expanded AltaPointe’s service area (under Alabama Act 310) of Mobile, Washington, and Baldwin counties to include Clay, Coosa, Randolph and Talladega counties. With this merger, AltaPointe will employ 1,450 and provide treatment to more than 30,000 individuals annually.

“AltaPointe welcomes its new employees, patients, and partners in the Sylacauga region,” Schlesinger said. “Together, with our existing employees and partners, AltaPointe can achieve great things for individuals living with mental illness, substance abuse and developmental disability who we serve. With an expanded system, we can respond more effectively to changes in healthcare.”

Merger is unlike typical for-profit mergers

“This is not a merger like one might read about in the for-profit world,” Schlesinger said. “There was neither a buyout nor a downsizing, and there were no layoffs; in fact, there will be an expansion of services and an increase in the use of advanced technology.”

According to Cindy Atkinson, who served as the CRMHC Executive Director before the merger, said the center found itself searching for ways to provide services in the face of diminishing financial support. “We believe joining forces with AltaPointe will build one single, stronger, more efficient organization that will withstand the changing healthcare environment and better serve our communities,” she said.

“Over a period of nearly two years, the AltaPointe and CRMHC boards of directors thoroughly investigated the needs of both organizations and recognized the wisdom of the merger,” Schlesinger continued. “They were diligent, patient and understanding as we pored over the multitude of details required to bring about the merger.”

Merger brings more resources, more services

Atkinson, who is now the AltaPointe Associate Executive Director of Community Mental Health for the Sylacauga Region, went on to say that the former CRMHC already has begun utilizing AltaPointe’s resources.

“We have implemented electronic medical records technology, which gives our staff easier access to patient information,” she said. “We also now have the great benefit of AltaPointe’s administrative services systems such as billing, budgeting and payroll.”

The merger also gives the Sylacauga region access to AltaPointe’s 25 full-time psychiatrists and 10 psychiatric CRNPs who regularly use tele-psychiatry to provide services remotely. Before the merger, CRMHC employed two, part-time psychiatrists.

AltaPointe’s unique educational and clinical collaboration with the University of South Alabama College of Medicine also benefits the Sylacauga region through the support of USA’s psychiatry residents who train at AltaPointe’s facilities.

Schlesinger emphasized that “everyone wins” with this merger. “AltaPointe benefits from the merger by being able to expand its centralized administrative system so that it can reallocate resources into services and grow stronger in scope,” he said. “However, the biggest winners will be the men, women and children who need our services to survive and function. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is the right thing to do for them.”

# # #

 

AltaPointe Health is Alabama’s most comprehensive and largest regional community behavioral health provider of inpatient, outpatient and resident treatment to more than 30,000 children, adolescents and adults annually in Mobile, Baldwin, Washington, Clay, Coosa, Randolph and Talladega counties. The organization was established in 1957 in Mobile. AltaPointe is committed to enhancing the quality of life for everyone it serves.

 

AltaPointe Helps Keep Mobile Beautiful

 Twenty AltaPointe Health employees labored Saturday morning June 13 under an overcast sky, enduring 98 percent humidity with only a hint of a breeze, to help Keep Mobile Beautiful. They set aside personal errands and obligations to pick up trash discarded along public roads. Joined by a few of their family members, the volunteers donned safety vests and protective gloves, sprayed down with insect repellant and armed themselves with litter pickers around 8 a.m. They split into smaller groups and walked the sides of East and West I-65 Service Roads making their way through unmown grass and plowing through ditches to retrieve and bag trash that had been tossed from passing cars or left by pedestrians. Within a couple of hours, approximately 50 filled garbage bags were being tossed into a Dumpster located at AltaPointe Children’s Outpatient offices located on Old Shell Road.

The effort, tagged the AltaPointe Litter Gitter Day, fulfilled a promise to support Keep Mobile Beautiful made by the behavioral health organization when it submitted its 2015 City of Mobile performance contract budget proposal last fall. AltaPointe’s COS, Julie Bellcase explained, “At AltaPointe, we consider it our responsibility and privilege to do our part to help preserve Mobile’s heritage.”

In addition to picking up litter, AltaPointe keeps its corporate entrance at Knollwood Road and Southland Drive well-landscaped and (yes) beautified. The City helps fund AltaPointe’s involuntary commitment services conducted at its adult psychiatric unit at EastPointe Hospital.

“We appreciate the dedicated employees and family members who donated their time on a hot June morning to help beautify Mobile.  It made me very proud to be associated with each of them.” said Bellcase. Saturday’s volunteers included Joyce Barber, David Beech, Julie Bellcase, Robert Carlock, Mary Caron Downing, Teresa Graham, Bill Hamilton, Ykenna Turner, Heather Joseph, Carol Mann, David Mann, George Murrill, Somaly Murrill, Calvin Nettles, Olivia Nettles, Linda Smith, Edward Turner, Courtney Washington, Lee Ann McDonald, and Miranda McDonald.

# # #

AltaPointe is Alabama’s most comprehensive behavioral healthcare provider with nearly 1,400 clinical and non-clinical staff members who provide treatment to more than 22,000 children, adolescents and adults annually in Mobile, Baldwin and Washington counties. AltaPointe provides more than 50 programs and services all committed to enhancing quality of life for everyone it serves. The organization was established in 1957.

AltaPointe psychiatrist encourage screening for autism as early as 18 months of age

 

The month of April is set aside to promote autism awareness.  Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause social, communication, and behavioral challenges.

The Centers for Disease Control’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network estimates 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder each year.

Edgar Finn, M.D., AltaPointe Health child and adolescent board-certified psychiatrist, says that number has grown substantially since his days in medical school.

“When I was in school it was 4 out of every 10,000 children were identified as having autism,” Finn said. “Autism is a disorder that has been increasing in prevalence the last several years. The increase is due in part to the awareness raised by parents, teachers, and medical residency programs.”

Finn says people have notions about autism that are not always accurate. He believes dedicating an entire month to educate ourselves and become better informed about what autism is and what we can do to help people with autism is important.

“We as a society need to be a bit more careful about the stigma attached to developmental disabilities such as autism,” Finn added. “Early intervention is important when it comes to treating autism which is a chronic developmental disorder.”

Medical experts say the autism spectrum is vast, adding there are as many degrees of autism as there are people with autism.  There is no known cause for autism, but Finn says there are steps parents should take if they suspect their child may be on the spectrum.

“Every child should be screened at 18 months,” Finn added. “While there is no cure for autism, there are treatments available for some of the target symptoms that individuals with autism may manifest such as anxiety, hyperactivity, and depression.”

Finn says education is the foundation for treating autism. He adds applied behavioral analysis (ABA) is one treatment for behavioral intervention that has proven to be helpful. ABA is the use of techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior. “Once ABA is taught to parents and teachers it can be applied 24 hours a day and not just with ABA therapist.”

A child psychiatrist is called upon when educational and behavioral interventions such as ABA are in place, but a child is still having difficulty with certain symptoms such as irritability, or depression. Finn adds medications are available that can offer relief. “When applied carefully and conservatively these medications can be very beneficial,” Finn shared.  “There is hope for patients with autism, and we are making great strides in treatment all the time.”

AltaPointe safeguards Protected Health Information

AltaPointe has a legal duty to safeguard your Protected Health Information (PHI). This PHI includes information that can be used to identify you. It is information that we have created or reviewed about your past, present or future health conditions. It contains what healthcare we have provided to you or the payment history on healthcare related accounts. We must provide you with notice about our privacy practices and explain how, when and why we use and disclose your PHI.

We will not use or disclose your PHI without your authorization, except as described in this notice or otherwise required by law. We are legally required to follow the privacy practices that are described in this notice.

Antisocial Personality

A personality style beginning in childhood that involves a behavior pattern that seriously violates the rights of others. Individuals with this disorder are irresponsible in their work, school, finances, and personal relationships. [more…]

Antisocial Personality Disorder

A condition characterized by antisocial behavior (such as lying, stealing, and sometimes violence), lack of social emotions (guilt and shame), and impulsivity. [more…]

Anxiety Disorder

Everyone knows what it’s like to feel anxious, the “butterflies” in your stomach before that first date, the “jitters” before giving a speech, the sweaty palms or racing heartbeat that often accompany challenging or dangerous situations. These feelings are normal.
But what if you were to find yourself feeling anxious most of the time instead of just under specific circumstances? What if you couldn’t even find a particular reason for feeling this way? What if you found yourself avoiding certain everyday routines or activities altogether in an effort to curb the stressful feelings they cause? What if you simply were to become “paralyzed” by your own nervousness? This is what life is often like for those suffering from one of the group of biologically based mental illnesses known as anxiety disorders.

The different types of anxiety disorders are:

Panic Disorder

Those suffering from panic disorder experience reoccurring and unexpected panic attacks-instances of extreme fear or discomfort that start abruptly and build to a rapid peak, usually within ten minutes. Panic attacks are characterized by such physical symptoms as heart palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, the sensation of choking, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, disorientation, fear of losing control or dying, numbness, chills, and hot flushes. Additionally, panic attacks are usually accompanied by a sense of looming danger and the strong desire to escape. Attacks can be brought on by specific triggers or can occur “out of the blue.” The frequency of attacks tends to vary according to the individual.
To be diagnosed with panic disorder, one’s panic attacks must have been followed by at least one month of steady worry about having more attacks, concern about why the attacks have happened and what they mean (fears of having a serious physical illness or “losing one’s mind” are common), or a significant change in behavior brought about by the attacks (many feel the need to avoid certain situations or remove themselves from particular environments).

Panic disorder is diagnosed more often in women than in men. Although the age of onset varies considerably, it is most commonly experienced for the first time between late adolescence and the mid-30’s. Up to one-half of those diagnosed with panic disorder also have agoraphobia.

Phobias

Defined as exaggerated, involuntary, and irrational fears of particular situations or things, phobias are generally divided into three separate types.
Specific (or simple) phobia-this type of phobia is brought about by a specific object or situation such as flying, heights, needles, or snakes. Specific phobias are generally more common in women than in men and usually first appear during childhood.
Social phobia (social anxiety disorder)-limited specifically to social situations, this particular phobia is typified by extreme fear of meeting new people and of being embarrassed, humiliated, or judged by others. Social phobia appears to be diagnosed equally among the sexes. Usually first appearing in mid-teens, social phobia sometimes arises from a history of childhood shyness.
A diagnosis of specific or social phobia requires that exposure to the feared object or situation induces anxiety (often in the form of panic attacks), that the individual experiencing the phobia recognizes the irrational nature of their fear, and that the anxiety caused by the phobia become disruptive to the individual’s lifestyle.

Agoraphobia-those with agoraphobia have an intense fear of being trapped in particular places or situations or of not being able to find help if they experience anxiety or a panic attack. Fears of those with this type of phobia often center around being alone in an open area or being in a large crowd. Often, those with agoraphobia avoid such situations altogether; being subjected to such situations causes notable anxiety or panic.
It is important to remember that diagnosed phobias cause severe impairment-everyone has certain fears and experiences times of shyness and anxiety.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by persistently intrusive and inappropriate thoughts, impulses, or images that run through one’s mind (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors that one feels they must do (compulsions). Common obsessions include fear of contamination, fixation or lucky or unlucky numbers, fear of danger to oneself or others, need for order or exactness, and excessive doubt. The most common compulsions performed in response to these obsessions include ritualistic hand washing, counting, checking, hoarding, and arranging.

Although most people experience such thoughts and behaviors at some times, OCD is considered to occur when these obsessions and compulsions are experienced for more than an hour each day in a way that interferes with one’s life or causes great anxiety.

Equally common in males and females, OCD often appears earlier in males. Generally, the disorder first begins in adolescence or early adulthood, although it may start in childhood.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Personally experiencing or witnessing a violent or tragic event that resulted in feelings of intense fear, helplessness, or horror can sometimes cause PTSD. Events that often lead to the development of this anxiety disorder include rape, war, natural disasters, abuse, and serious accidents. While it is common to experience a brief state of anxiety or depression after such occurrences, those with PTSD continually re-experience the traumatic event through ways such as nightmares, hallucinations, or flashbacks; avoid all things associated with the event (often displaying an accompanying sense of detachment); and exhibit increased arousal (e.g. difficulty sleeping, irritability, difficulty concentrating, extreme alertness, jumpiness).
Those diagnosed with PTSD experience symptoms for longer than one month and are unable to function as they did before the event. PTSD usually appears within three months of the traumatic experience, but in some circumstances can surface months or even years later. PTSD can occur at any age.

Similar to PTSD is an anxiety disorder known as acute stress disorder. Also in response to a traumatic event, acute stress disorder involves symptoms of re-experience, avoidance, and increased arousal as well. The main difference between the two disorders is twofold. First of all, acute stress disorder features a greater element of dissociation-those with the disorder experience detachment, a sense of withdrawal from reality, or even sometimes amnesia. The other major distinction between PTSD and acute stress disorder is in the length of time the symptoms are experienced. Acute stress disorder is only diagnosed if the disturbance occurs within four weeks of the traumatic event and lasts for a minimum of two days and a maximum of four weeks. What is first sometimes thought to be acute stress disorder is often eventually diagnosed as PTSD.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

Individuals with GAD experience excessive anxiety and worry about several everyday events or activities. Furthermore, the anxiety in those with GAD is difficult to control and causes notable complications in daily work and social settings. Physical symptoms of the disorder include edginess, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances. To be diagnosed with GAD, one must experience this excessive anxiety for the majority of days during a period of six months or longer.

Most of those with GAD claim to have felt anxious for their entire lives and the disorder is first seen in childhood or adolescence. However, adult onset of the disorder is not uncommon.

Other anxiety disorders

Certain persons can experience anxiety in response to a general medical condition or from substance abuse. Others exhibit certain signs of particular anxiety disorders without meeting all the criteria for an official diagnosis.

How common are anxiety disorders?

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States. These serious brain disorders are estimated to affect more than 20 million Americans (approximately one in nine) every year

Are anxiety disorders associated with other disorders?

Most definitely, it is quite common for one anxiety disorder to coexist with another or several others. Furthermore, those with anxiety disorders frequently also suffer from depression, substance-related disorders, and/or eating disorders. In fact, it is estimated that over half of those diagnosed with panic disorder or OCD have depression too.

What causes anxiety disorders?

Several factors seem to contribute to the development of an anxiety disorder. Much new research suggests that these disorders both run in families and are the result of one’s brain chemistry. Certain life experiences and one’s general personality are also thought to influence the likelihood of having an anxiety disorder.

How can anxiety disorders be treated?

Effective treatments are available for anxiety disorders. While the symptoms of the various anxiety disorders do differ, both medication and talk therapy have proven helpful in alleviating many of the problems of those faced with each of these illnesses.

The most common medications used to treat anxiety disorders are antidepressants and benzodiazepines. There are a variety of drugs of both types that have proven quite helpful. So, if a particular medication does not seem to work, others are available. And, many new drugs are on the horizon.
The forms of talk therapy most often effective in treating anxiety disorders are behavioral therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy involves relaxation techniques and gradual exposure to the thing or situation that causes the anxiety in an attempt to reduce symptoms.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders have multiple physical and psychological symptoms, but all have in common feelings of apprehension, tension, or uneasiness. Among the anxiety disorders are panic disorder, agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.

The different types of anxiety disorders are:

Panic Disorder

Those suffering from panic disorder experience reoccurring and unexpected panic attacks-instances of extreme fear or discomfort that start abruptly and build to a rapid peak, usually within ten minutes. Panic attacks are characterized by such physical symptoms as heart palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, the sensation of choking, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, disorientation, fear of losing control or dying, numbness, chills, and hot flushes. Additionally, panic attacks are usually accompanied by a sense of looming danger and the strong desire to escape. Attacks can be brought on by specific triggers or can occur “out of the blue.” The frequency of attacks tends to vary according to the individual.

To be diagnosed with panic disorder, one’s panic attacks must have been followed by at least one month of steady worry about having more attacks, concern about why the attacks have happened and what they mean (fears of having a serious physical illness or “losing one’s mind” are common), or a significant change in behavior brought about by the attacks (many feel the need to avoid certain situations or remove themselves from particular environments).

Panic disorder is diagnosed more often in women than in men. Although the age of onset varies considerably, it is most commonly experienced for the first time between late adolescence and the mid-30’s. Up to one-half of those diagnosed with panic disorder also have agoraphobia.

Phobias

Defined as exaggerated, involuntary, and irrational fears of particular situations or things, phobias are generally divided into three separate types.

Specific (or simple) phobia-this type of phobia is brought about by a specific object or situation such as flying, heights, needles, or snakes. Specific phobias are generally more common in women than in men and usually first appear during childhood.

Social phobia (social anxiety disorder)-limited specifically to social situations, this particular phobia is typified by extreme fear of meeting new people and of being embarrassed, humiliated, or judged by others. Social phobia appears to be diagnosed equally among the sexes. Usually first appearing in mid-teens, social phobia sometimes arises from a history of childhood shyness.

A diagnosis of specific or social phobia requires that exposure to the feared object or situation induces anxiety (often in the form of panic attacks), that the individual experiencing the phobia recognizes the irrational nature of their fear, and that the anxiety caused by the phobia become disruptive to the individual’s lifestyle.

Agoraphobia-those with agoraphobia have an intense fear of being trapped in particular places or situations or of not being able to find help if they experience anxiety or a panic attack. Fears of those with this type of phobia often center around being alone in an open area or being in a large crowd. Often, those with agoraphobia avoid such situations altogether; being subjected to such situations causes notable anxiety or panic.

It is important to remember that diagnosed phobias cause severe impairment-everyone has certain fears and experiences times of shyness and anxiety.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by persistently intrusive and inappropriate thoughts, impulses, or images that run through one’s mind (obsessions) and repetitive

behaviors that one feels they must do (compulsions). Common obsessions include fear of contamination, fixation or lucky or unlucky numbers, fear of danger to oneself or others, need for order or exactness, and excessive doubt. The most common compulsions performed in response to these obsessions include ritualistic handwashing, counting, checking, hoarding, and arranging.

Although most people experience such thoughts and behaviors at some times, OCD is considered to occur when these obsessions and compulsions are experienced for more than an hour each day in a way that interferes with one’s life or causes great anxiety.

Equally common in males and females, OCD often appears earlier in males. Generally, the disorder first begins in adolescence or early adulthood, although it may start in childhood.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Personally experiencing or witnessing a violent or tragic event that resulted in feelings of intense fear, helplessness, or horror can sometimes cause PTSD. Events that often lead to the development of this anxiety disorder include rape, war, natural disasters, abuse, and serious accidents. While it is common to experience a brief state of anxiety or depression after such occurrences, those with PTSD continually re-experience the traumatic event through ways such as nightmares, hallucinations, or flashbacks; avoid all things associated with the event (often displaying an accompanying sense of detachment); and exhibit increased arousal (e.g. difficulty sleeping, irritability, difficulty concentrating, extreme alertness, jumpiness).

Those diagnosed with PTSD experience symptoms for longer than one month and are unable to function as they did before the event. PTSD usually appears within three months of the traumatic experience, but in some circumstances can surface months or even years later. PTSD can occur at any age.

Similar to PTSD is an anxiety disorder known as acute stress disorder. Also in response to a traumatic event, acute stress disorder involves symptoms of re-experience, avoidance, and increased arousal as well. The main difference between the two disorders is twofold. First of all, acute stress disorder features a greater element of dissociation-those with the disorder experience detachment, a sense of withdrawal from reality, or even sometimes amnesia. The other major distinction between PTSD and acute stress disorder is in the length of time the symptoms are experienced. Acute stress disorder is only diagnosed if the disturbance occurs within four weeks of the traumatic event and lasts for a minimum of two days and a maximum of four weeks. What is first sometimes thought to be acute stress disorder is often eventually diagnosed as PTSD.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

Individuals with GAD experience excessive anxiety and worry about several everyday events or activities. Furthermore, the anxiety in those with GAD is difficult to control and causes notable complications in daily work and social settings. Physical symptoms of the disorder include edginess, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances. To be diagnosed with GAD, one must experience this excessive anxiety for the majority of days during a period of six months or longer.

Most of those with GAD claim to have felt anxious for their entire lives and the disorder is first seen in childhood or adolescence. However, adult onset of the disorder is not uncommon.

Other anxiety disorders

Certain persons can experience anxiety in response to a general medical condition or from substance abuse. Others exhibit certain signs of particular anxiety disorders without meeting all the criteria for an official diagnosis.

How common are anxiety disorders?
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States. These serious brain disorders are estimated to affect more than 20 million Americans (approximately one in nine) every year

Are anxiety disorders associated with other disorders?

Most definitely, it is quite common for one anxiety disorder to coexist with another or several others. Furthermore, those with anxiety disorders frequently also suffer from depression, substance-related disorders, and/or eating disorders. In fact, it is estimated that over half of those diagnosed with panic disorder or OCD have depression too.

What causes anxiety disorders?

Several factors seem to contribute to the development of an anxiety disorder. Much new research suggests that these disorders both run in families and are the result of one’s brain chemistry. Certain life experiences and one’s general personality are also thought to influence the likelihood of having an anxiety disorder.

How can anxiety disorders be treated?

Effective treatments are available for anxiety disorders. While the symptoms of the various anxiety disorders do differ, both medication and talk therapy have proven helpful in alleviating many of the problems of those faced with each of these illnesses.

The most common medications used to treat anxiety disorders are antidepressants and benzodiazepines. There are a variety of drugs of both types that have proven quite helpful. So, if a particular medication does not seem to work, others are available. And, many new drugs are on the horizon.

The forms of talk therapy most often effective in treating anxiety disorders are behavioral therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy involves relaxation techniques and gradual exposure to the thing or situation that causes the anxiety in an attempt to reduce symptoms.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders cause individuals to feel excessively frightened, distressed and uneasy during situations in which most others would not experience these symptoms. Left untreated, these disorders can dramatically reduce productivity and significantly diminish an individual’s quality of life. Anxiety disorders in children can lead to poor school attendance, low self-esteem, deficient interpersonal skills, alcohol abuse, and adjustment difficulty.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in America. They affect as many as one in 10 young people. Often these disorders are difficult to recognize. And, many individuals that suffer from them are either too ashamed to seek help, or they fail to realize that these disorders can be treated effectively.

The most common anxiety disorders include:

Panic Disorder

Characterized by panic attacks. This disorder results in sudden feelings of terror that strike repeatedly and without warning. Physical symptoms include chest pain, heart palpations, shortness of breath, dizziness, abdominal discomfort, feelings of unreality, and fear of dying. Children and adolescents with this disorder may experience unrealistic worry, self-consciousness, and tension.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Characterized by repeated, intrusive and unwanted thoughts or obsessions and/or rituals that seem impossible to control. Adolescents may be aware that their symptoms don’t make sense and are excessive, but younger children may be distressed only when they are prevented from carrying out their compulsive habits. Compulsive behaviors often include counting, arranging and rearranging objects, and excessive hand washing.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Persistent symptoms of this disorder occur after experiencing a trauma such as abuse, natural disasters orextreme violence. Symptoms include nightmares; flashbacks; the numbing of emotions; depression; feeling angry, irritable and distracted; and being easily startled.

Phobias

Consist of a disabling and irrational fear of something that actually poses little or no danger. The fear leads to avoidance of objects or situations and can cause extreme feelings of terror, dread and panic, which can substantially restrict one’s life. “Specific” phobias center on particular objects (e.g. animals) or situations (e.g. heights or enclosed places). Common symptoms for children and adolescents with “social” phobias are hypersensitive to criticism, difficulty being assertive and low self-esteem.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Chronic, exaggerated worry about everyday, routine life events and activities that lasts at least six months

Children and adolescents with this disorder usually anticipate the worse and often complain of fatigue, tension, headaches, and nausea.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

Developmentally inappropriate and excessive anxiety concerning separation from home or from those to whom the individual is attached

This disorder is evidenced by three or more of the following:

  • Recurrent excessive distress when separation from home or major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated
  • Persistent and excessive worry about losing or about possible harm to major attachment figures
  • Persistent and excessive worry that an untoward event will lead to separation from major attachment figure (e.g. getting lost or kidnapped)
  • Persistently and excessively fearful or reluctant to be alone or without major attachment figures at home or without significant adults in other settings
  • Persistent reluctance or refusal to go to sleep without being near a major attachment figure or to sleep away from home
  • Repeated nightmares involving the theme of separation
  • Repeated complaints of physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, nausea, or vomiting when separation from major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated
  • The duration of the disturbance is at least four weeks
  • The onset is before the age of 18 years
  • The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, academic, occupational, or other important areas of functioning
  • The disturbance does not occur excessively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder with Agoraphobia

Although studies suggest that children and adolescents are more likely to have an anxiety disorder if their caregivers have anxiety disorders, it has not been shown whether biology or environment plays the greater role in the development of these disorders. High levels of anxiety or excessive shyness in children aged six to eight years may be indicators or a developing anxiety disorder.
Scientists at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and elsewhere have recently found that some cases of OCD occur following infection or exposure to streptococcus bacteria. More research is being done to pinpoint who is at greatest risk, but this is another reason to treat strep throats seriously and promptly.

Effective treatments for anxiety disorders include medication, specific forms of psychotherapy also known as behavioral therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, or a combination of these. Cognitive-behavioral treatment involves the young person’s learning to deal with his or her fears by modifying the way he or she thinks and behaves by practicing new behaviors.

Ultimately, parents and caregivers should learn to be understanding and patient when dealing with children with anxiety disorders. Specific plans of care can often be developed and the child or adolescent should be involved in the decision-making process whenever possible.

Are Purchase Orders required for payment of goods and services?

Yes.  AltaPointe requires that a valid purchase order be issued prior to the delivery of goods or services from every vendor, with the exception of routine orders.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is one of the most common behavioral disorders among children. Between 3 percent and 5 percent of all children may suffer from this condition. It is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyper activity and/or impulsivity that occurs in academic, occupational or social settings. It is best defined as a condition where an individual’s attention span is dramatically less than what is expected for an individual of that age.

Although ADHD is usually diagnosed in childhood, it is not a disorder limited to children and it often persists into adolescence and adulthood. Frequently, it is not diagnosed until later years.

According to the NIMH, ADHD is characterized by three major categories.

  • Inattention People who are inattentive have a hard time keeping their minds on any one thing and may get bored with a task after only a few minutes. They may give effortless, automatic attention to activities and things they enjoy, but focusing deliberately on organizing and completing a task or learning something new is difficult.
  • Hyperactivity— People who are hyperactive, always seem to be moving. Hyperactive teens and adults may feel restless throughout the day whenever long periods of attention are required or they move from one activity to another all at once.
  • Impulsivity— People that are overly impulsive, seem unable to reduce their immediate reactions to a circumstance or be able to think completely through before acting on a situation.

What causes ADHD? ADHD is not caused by dysfunctional parenting, and those with ADHD do not merely lack intelligence or discipline. There are several potential causes but none proven. Since parental support seems to lesson the affects of ADHD, parental involvement is encouraged. Style of parenting does not seem to have an impact on the condition itself.

Strong scientific evidence supports the conclusion that ADHD us a biologically based disorder. Biological studies suggest that children with ADHD may have lower levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in critical regions of the brain, which may account for many of the signs and symptoms of ADHD. Brain imaging studies have shown that brain metabolism is lower in individuals with ADHD than in normal controls. More important, these studies show significantly lower metabolic activity in the regions of the brain that control attention, social judgment and movement. There is strong evidence that ADHD has a genetic basis in some cases. Scientific studies have not verified dietary factors as a main cause of ADHD. Environmental factors might have an influence on the development of ADHD. These include cigarette, alcohol or drug use during pregnancy. Each of these substances may damage the baby’s developing brain and may be responsible for some conditions related to ADHD. The most proven treatments are medication and behavioral therapy.

Medication Stimulants are the most widely used drugs for treating attention-deficient/hyperactivity disorder. Medications such as s Ritalin, Cylert, and Dexedrine have been successful in treating the symptoms associated with ADHD. However, there is a great deal of debate about the long-term effect of the medication. Every person reacts to the treatment differently, so it is important to work closely and communicate openly with the physician. Some common side effects of stimulant medications include weight loss, decreased appetite, trouble sleeping, and in children, a temporary slowness of growth. However, these reactions can often be controlled with dosage adjustments. Medication has proven effective in the short-term treatment of more than 76 percent of individuals, but specialists must monitored in this area (e.g. a child psychiatrist).

Treatment strategies such as rewarding positive behavior changes and communicating clear expectations of those with ADHD have also proven effective. Additionally, it is extremely important for family members and teachers or employers to remain patient and understanding.

Children with ADHD can also benefit from caregivers paying close attention to their progress, adapting classroom environments to accommodate their needs and using positive reinforcement. Formal educational testing and an evaluation for speech and language disorders should be preformed. Where appropriate, parents should work with the school for special classroom accommodations for the child.

Approximately 25 percent of children with ADHD (mostly younger children and boys) also experience anxiety and depression. At least 25 percent of children with ADHD suffer from some type of communication or learning disability. There is also a correlation with Tourette’s syndrome. Research is also beginning to show that ADHD-like symptoms are sometimes actually manifestations of childhood-onset bipolar disorder.

Before receiving services provided by AltaPointe, you have the right to:

  • Give your written consent for treatment.
  • Withhold consent for treatment.
  • Be provided a copy of these consents.

Behavior Disorders

Many terms are used interchangeably to classify children who exhibit extreme or unacceptable chronic behavior problems. These children lag behind their age mates in social development and are often isolated from others either because they withdraw from social contact or because they behave in an aggressive, hostile manner. Behavior disorders result from persistent negative social interactions between the child and the environment. Behavior disorders generally consist of four clusters of traits, including conduct disorders, anxiety-withdrawal, immaturity, and socialized aggression.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Symptoms of BPD

  • Mood swings
  • Periods of intense depression, irritability, and/or anxiety lasting from a few hours to a few days
  • Inappropriate, intense or uncontrolled anger
  • Impulsiveness in spending, sex, substance use, shoplifting, reckless driving, or binge eating
  • Recurring suicidal threats or self-injurious behavior
  • Unstable, intense personal relationships
  • Extreme black-and-white views of people and experiences, sometimes alternating between “all good” idealization and “all bad” devaluation
  • Persistent uncertainly about self-image, long-term goals, friendships and values
  • Chronic boredom or feelings of emptiness
  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

Treatment for BPD

  • Medication
  • Reduces anxiety, depression and impulsivity
  • Helps one deal with harmful patterns of thinking and interacting
  • Fails to correct ingrained character difficulties
  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Neuroleptics
  • Psychotherapy
  • Short-term hospitalization when necessary during times of extreme stress, impulsivity or substance abuse
  • Generally difficult and long term
  • BPD symptoms often interfere with therapy
  • Usually effective

What is BPD?

Fairly common biologically based disorder
Characterized by impulsivity and instability in mood, self-image and personal relationships
Diagnosed more often in females than in males

Causes of BPD

  • Unclear, but psychological and biological factors may be involved
  • Originally thought to border on schizophrenia
  • Related to serious depressive illness
  • Associated with neurological and attention deficit disorders abuse or neglect may create identity and personality problems
  • More research is needed

Simultaneously present disorders

  • Serious depressive illness, including bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Alcohol/drug abuse
  • Sleep disorder

Bi-Polar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression is a type of mental illness that involves a disorder of affect or mood. The person’s mood usually swings between overly “high” or irritable to sad and hopeless, and then back again, with periods of normal mood in between.

The high (manic) mood associated with manic-depression is sometimes a pleasurable, euphoric and productive state but can involve potentially dangerous lapses of judgment, impulsive and potentially ruinous behavior, and, in the most severe forms, can involve extreme agitation and loss of reason (psychosis). The depressed phase is similar to, and can be confused with, major depression, and involves feelings of sadness, hopelessness and helplessness.

Mental health specialists refer to bipolar disorder by type: Type I bipolar disorder involves extreme upswings in mood (mania) coupled with downward spirals. In Type II, the upward swings are more mild (hypomania), but the frequency and intensity of the depressive phase is often severe. Since the elevated mood states of Type II are relatively mild, they are often missed and the bipolar nature of the illness goes undiagnosed.

Consumers affected by Bipolar Disorder

Manic-depression affects more than 2% of the general population over a lifetime. Unfortunately, due to the stigma surrounding the illness, misdiagnosis, and the propensity of those with manic-depression to deny that anything is wrong, only a fraction of these people ever receive treatment. Although the illness can occur at any age, fully half of cases begin before age 20. The disorder occurs about equally in men and women, and, because it tends to run in families, there appears to be a strong genetic link. In addition, this illness can have profound effects on friends and family members.

Symptoms of Depression

  • Persistent sad, anxious or empty mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities
  • Decreased energy, a feeling of fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Inability to sleep or oversleeping
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Symptoms of Mania

  • Extreme irritability and distractibility
  • Excessive “high” or euphoric feelings
  • Increased energy, activity, restlessness
  • Racing thoughts, rapid speech
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Unrealistic beliefs in one’s abilities and powers
  • Increased sexual drive
  • Abuse of drugs or alcohol
  • Reckless behavior such as spending sprees
  • Rash business decisions, or erratic driving
  • In severe cases, hallucinations and loss of reason

Treatment options

Medication: Varying medicines are effective in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Several types of antidepressants can help relieve the depressive phase of the illness, including the newer selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are often combined with a mood-stabilizer such as lithium. SSRIs have proven to be effective, safe, and have relatively minor adverse effects. Lithium salts have been used for many years to stabilize mood swings and remain an important part of manic-depressive treatment. In addition, anticonvulsants, medicines initially used for treating epileptic consumers, have recently proven very effective in treating mania. In acute mania, doctors may also prescribe antipsychotics to help control hallucinations and restore rational thinking. Long-term stability can be enhanced with lithium, and other alternatives are under investigation.

Psychotherapy: Talking therapy can be an important part of treatment for consumers, as well as for their friends and family members. Talking therapy can help eliminate behaviors, thought patterns, problems with current relationships or difficulties in managing the illness that may be caused by or contribute to the disorder.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression is a type of mental illness that involves a disorder of affect or mood. The person’s mood usually swings between overly “high” or irritable to sad and hopeless, and then back again, with periods of normal mood in between.

The high (manic) mood associated with manic-depression is sometimes a pleasurable, euphoric and productive state but can involve potentially dangerous lapses of judgment, impulsive and potentially ruinous behavior, and, in the most severe forms, can involve extreme agitation and loss of reason (psychosis). The depressed phase is similar to, and can be confused with, major depression, and involves feelings of sadness, hopelessness and helplessness.

Mental health specialists refer to bipolar disorder by type: Type I bipolar disorder involves extreme upswings in mood (mania) coupled with downward spirals. In Type II, the upward swings are more mild (hypomania), but the frequency and intensity of the depressive phase is often severe. Since the elevated mood states of Type II are relatively mild, they are often missed and the bipolar nature of the illness goes undiagnosed.

Consumers affected by Bipolar Disorder

Manic-depression affects more than 2% of the general population over a lifetime. Unfortunately, due to the stigma surrounding the illness, misdiagnosis, and the propensity of those with manic-depression to deny that anything is wrong, only a fraction of these people ever receive treatment. Although the illness can occur at any age, fully half of cases begin before age 20. The disorder occurs about equally in men and women, and, because it tends to run in families, there appears to be a strong genetic link. In addition, this illness can have profound effects on friends and family members.

Symptoms of Depression

  • Persistent sad, anxious or empty mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities
  • Decreased energy, a feeling of fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Inability to sleep or oversleeping
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Symptoms of Mania

  • Extreme irritability and distractibility
  • Excessive “high” or euphoric feelings
  • Increased energy, activity, restlessness
  • Racing thoughts, rapid speech
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Unrealistic beliefs in one’s abilities and powers
  • Increased sexual drive
  • Abuse of drugs or alcohol
  • Reckless behavior such as spending sprees
  • Rash business decisions, or erratic driving
  • In severe cases, hallucinations and loss of reason

Treatment options

Medication: Varying medicines are effective in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Several types of antidepressants can help relieve the depressive phase of the illness, including the newer selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are often combined with a mood-stabilizer such as lithium. SSRIs have proven to be effective, safe, and have relatively minor adverse effects. Lithium salts have been used for many years to stabilize mood swings and remain an important part of manic-depressive treatment. In addition, anticonvulsants, medicines initially used for treating epileptic consumers, have recently proven very effective in treating mania. In acute mania, doctors may also prescribe antipsychotics to help control hallucinations and restore rational thinking. Long-term stability can be enhanced with lithium, and other alternatives are under investigation.

Psychotherapy: Talking therapy can be an important part of treatment for consumers, as well as for their friends and family members. Talking therapy can help eliminate behaviors, thought patterns, problems with current relationships or difficulties in managing the illness that may be caused by or contribute to the disorder.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Symptoms of BPD

  • Mood swings
  • Periods of intense depression, irritability, and/or anxiety lasting from a few hours to a few days
  • Inappropriate, intense or uncontrolled anger
  • Impulsiveness in spending, sex, substance use, shoplifting, reckless driving, or binge eating
  • Recurring suicidal threats or self-injurious behavior
  • Unstable, intense personal relationships
  • Extreme black-and-white views of people and experiences, sometimes alternating between “all good” idealization and “all bad” devaluation
  • Persistent uncertainly about self-image, long-term goals, friendships and values
  • Chronic boredom or feelings of emptiness
  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

Treatment for BPD

Medication

  • Reduces anxiety, depression and impulsivity
  • Helps one deal with harmful patterns of thinking and interacting
  • Fails to correct ingrained character difficulties
  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Neuroleptics

Psychotherapy

Short-term hospitalization when necessary during times of extreme stress, impulsivity or substance abuse

  • Generally difficult and long term
  • BPD symptoms often interfere with therapy
  • Usually effective

What is BPD?

  • Fairly common biologically based disorder
  • Characterized by impulsivity and instability in mood, self-image and personal relationships
  • Diagnosed more often in females than in males

Causes of BPD

  • Unclear, but psychological and biological factors may be involved
  • Originally thought to border on schizophrenia
  • Related to serious depressive illness
  • Associated with neurological and attention deficit disorders
  • Difficulties in psychological development during childhood due to such things as abuse or neglect may create identity and personality problems
  • More research is needed

Simultaneously present disorders

  • Serious depressive illness, including bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Alcohol/drug abuse
  • Sleep disorder

Case management

Practice in which the service recipient is a partner in his or her recovery and self-management of mental illness and life.

Changes to our privacy practices

We reserve the right to change the terms of our practices and to make the new provisions effective for all individually identifiable health information (medical records) that we maintain. If we change our information practices, we will have the revised notice available in the therapist’s office as well as have a supply available in the lobby of the facility.

Children at BayPointe Hospital hear from a community superhero

Not all superheroes wear capes. Children at BayPointe Hospital experienced that first hand when meeting Corporal Joshua Jones of the Mobile Police Department. Jones spoke to participants of BayPointe Hospital’s Spring Break camp.

Throughout the year, BayPointe School host camps including a camp for Mardi Gras, Christmas, Spring and Summer breaks. “We offer camp anytime that the public school system has a large break,” Nicolette Harvey, assistant director of BayPointe Hospital, said. “When children are not in school, they may have more inconsistency in schedules, and it causes them to step back in progress they are making with their school-based therapist. To better that, we hold camps during the year to ensure children are receiving the therapy they need and that they continue with their programs.”

During this year’s Spring Break camp there were themes assigned throughout the week and activities to go with the theme of the day. The camp ended on Friday, April 6, with the theme superheroes. Though everyone is familiar with Superman and Batman, the camp organizers wanted the children to have the opportunity to interact with a real-life superhero.

“We invited Corporal Jones with MPD to come and talk to our children because he truly makes a difference in our community,” Harvey added. “He shared stories of his life as a police officer and what it means to be a real-life superhero.”

Those watching the presentation had lots of questions for Cpl. Jones, and the children who dream of becoming a police officer one day were especially grateful to hear about what it takes to wear the badge.

BayPointe is accredited by The Joint Commission, certified by the Alabama Department of Mental Health and licensed by the Alabama Department of Public Health. It is a division of AltaPointe Health, the most comprehensive psychiatric and behavioral healthcare provider in Alabama.

For more information, visit our website.

Clinical

In the mental health field, clinical refers to professionals who interact with patients in order to arrive at a diagnosis and treatment. Several states offer variations on licensing to differentiate between those who are educated in a field, and those who are trained to interact and counsel with clients. The addition of the term, “clinical,” to a professional title sometimes indicates extensive professional experience as well. The presence or absence of term “clinical” in a mental health professional’s title is not a reliable indicator, however. A Licensed Professional Counselor in one state may have the same meaning as Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in another state.

Clinical Model

Our clinical model of care helps individuals living with serious mental illness, emotional disturbance, intellectual disability, and substance abuse issues obtain the treatment and skills they require to succeed.

Co-occurring/comorbidity

In general, the existence of two or more illnesses-whether physical or mental-at the same time in a single individual. In this chapter, comorbidity specifically means the existence of a mental illness and a substance abuse disorder or a mental and a physical illness in the same person at the same time.

Conduct Disorder

A persistent pattern of behavior that involves violation of the rights of others (disobedience, destructiveness, jealousy, boisterousness, and inadequate feelings of guilt). The pattern is seen at home, school, and in the community. Verbal and physical aggression are key features of conduct disorder. See also behavior disorders/emotional disturbance and oppositional-defiant disorder.

Confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse records

The confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse records maintained by this organization is protected by federal law and regulations. Generally, the program may not communicate to a person outside the program that you attend the program or disclose any information identifying you as an alcohol or drug abuser unless one of the following conditions is met:

  • You consent to it in writing.
  • The disclosure is allowed by a court order.
  • The disclosure is made to medical personnel in a medical emergency or to qualified personnel for program evaluation.

Violations of federal laws and regulations by a program are a crime. Suspected violations may be reported to the appropriate authorities in accordance with federal regulations.

Federal laws and regulations do not protect any information about a crime committed by you either at the program or against any person(s) who works for the program or about any threat to commit such a crime.

Federal laws and regulations do not protect any information about suspected child abuse or neglect from being reported under state law to appropriate state or local authorities.

Consumer

Any person using mental health services.

Contacts that can assist with discrepancies or complaints

You may submit in writing a request for review of any discrepancy or complaint under HIPAA to any of the following:

Director, Office of Civil Rights

US Department of Health & Human Services
61 Forsyth St., SW – Suite 31370
Atlanta, GA 30323
(404) 562-7858 or (404) 562-7884

Consumer Needs Department

AltaPointe Health
5750-A Southland Drive
Mobile, AL 36693
(251) 450-4303

Contacts that can assist with questions about your rights

 

If you feel that any of your rights have been violated or if you want further information, you may contact the following:

Alabama Department of Mental Health Advocacy Office
(800) 367-0955

Alabama Department of Human Resources
(251) 450-1800

Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program
(800) 826-1675

AltaPointe Health Consumer Needs Department
(251) 450-4303

You may contact the Joint Commission’s Office of Quality Monitoring to report any concerns or register complaints about AltaPointe Health either by calling (800) 994-6610 or e-mailing complaint@jointcommission.org.

You may also call Elder Care at Alabama Department of Public Health in Montgomery/Division of Health Care Facilities to report a complaint and/or to ask questions about your Advance Directive at (800) 356-9596, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contacts that can assist with questions about your rights

If you feel that any of your rights have been violated or if you want further information, you may contact the following:

Alabama Department of Mental Health Advocacy Office
(800) 367-0955

Alabama Department of Human Resources
(251) 450-1800

Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program
(800) 826-1675

AltaPointe Health Consumer Needs Department
(251) 450-4303

You may contact the Joint Commission’s Office of Quality Monitoring to report any concerns or register complaints about AltaPointe Health either by calling (800) 994-6610 or e-mailing complaint@jointcommission.org.

You may also call Elder Care at Alabama Department of Public Health in Montgomery/Division of Health Care Facilities to report a complaint and/or to ask questions about your Advance Directive at (800) 356-9596, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contacts that can assist with questions about your rights

If you feel that any of your rights have been violated or if you want further information, you may contact the following:

Alabama Department of Mental Health Advocacy Office
(800) 367-0955

Alabama Department of Human Resources
(251) 450-1800

Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program
(800) 826-1675

AltaPointe Health Consumer Needs Department
(251) 450-4303

You may contact the Joint Commission’s Office of Quality Monitoring to report any concerns or register complaints about AltaPointe Health either by calling (800) 994-6610 or e-mailing complaint@jointcommission.org.

 

Contacts that can assist with questions about your rights

If you feel that any of your rights have been violated or if you want further information, you may contact the following:

Alabama Department of Mental Health Advocacy Office
(800) 367-0955

Alabama Department of Human Resources
(251) 450-1800

Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program
(800) 826-1675

AltaPointe Health Consumer Needs Department
(251) 450-4303

You may contact the Joint Commission’s Office of Quality Monitoring to report any concerns or register complaints about AltaPointe Health either by calling (800) 994-6610 or e-mailing complaint@jointcommission.org.

 

Contacts that can assist with questions about your rights

If you feel that any of your rights have been violated or if you want further information, you may contact the following:

Alabama Department of Mental Health Advocacy Office
(800) 367-0955

Alabama Department of Human Resources
(251) 450-1800

Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program
(800) 826-1675

AltaPointe Health Consumer Needs Department
(251) 450-4303

You may contact the Joint Commission’s Office of Quality Monitoring to report any concerns or register complaints about AltaPointe Health either by calling (800) 994-6610 or e-mailing complaint@jointcommission.org.

You may also call Elder Care at Alabama Department of Public Health in Montgomery/Division of Health Care Facilities to report a complaint and/or to ask questions about your Advance Directive at (800) 356-9596, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Credentials

AltaPointe’s clinical staff members meet the appropriate Alabama State Department of Mental Health and other professional certification and licensure requirements. All medical staff members, including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, possess licensure and/or certification from appropriate state and/or professional agencies.

Cultural competence

A group of skills, attitudes, and knowledge that allows persons, organizations, and systems to work effectively with diverse racial, ethnic, and social groups.

Decompensation

A process that was formally stable has become unstable, leading to failure

Depression

A state of low mood that is described differently by people who experience it. Commonly described are feelings of sadness, despair, emptiness, or loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all things. Depression also can be experienced in other disorders such as bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder).

Depression

Depression has a variety of symptoms, but the most common is a deep feeling of sadness. People with depression may feel tired, listless, hopeless, helpless, and generally overwhelmed by life. Simple pleasures are no longer enjoyed, and their world can appear dark and uncontrollable. Emotional and physical withdrawal is a common response of depressed people.

Depression can strike at any time, but most often appears for the first time during the prime of life, from ages 24 to 44. One in four women and one in 10 men will confront depression at some point in their lives.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression is diagnosed if a person experiences 1) persistent feelings of sadness or anxiety or 2) loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities in addition to five or more of the following symptoms for at least 2 consecutive weeks:

  • Changes in appetite that result in weight losses or gains not related to dieting
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide or attempts of suicide

Depression is diagnosed only if the above symptoms are not due to other conditions (e.g. neurological or hormonal problems) or illnesses (e.g., cancer, heart attack) and are not the unexpected side effects of medications or substance abuse.

Treatment of Depression

Unfortunately, depression cannot be controlled for any length of time simply through exercise, through changes in diet, or by taking a vacation. But it is among the most treatable of mental disorders. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of people with depression respond well to treatment, and almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms.

Before a specific treatment is recommended, a psychiatrist will conduct a thorough diagnostic evaluation, consisting of an interview and physical examination. Its purpose is to reveal specific symptoms, medical and family history, cultural setting, and environmental causes of stress to arrive at a proper diagnosis and to determine the best treatment.

Medication

Antidepressants may be prescribed to correct imbalances in the levels of chemicals in the brain. These medications are not sedatives, “uppers,” or tranquilizers; they are not habit-forming; and they generally have no stimulating effect on people not experiencing depression.
Antidepressants usually take full effect within 3-6 weeks after therapy has begun. If little or no improvement is noted after 6-8 weeks, the psychiatrist will alter the dose of the medication or will add or substitute another antidepressant. Psychiatrists usually recommend that consumers continue to take medication for 5 or more months after symptoms have improved.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” may be used either alone for treatment of mild depression or in combination with antidepressant medications for moderate to severe depression.

Psychotherapy can involve only the individual consumer or include others. Family or couples therapy helps to address specific issues that can arise within these close relationships. Group therapy involves people with similar illnesses. Depending on the severity of the depression, treatment can take a few weeks or substantially longer. However, in many cases, significant improvement can be made in 10-15 sessions.

Depression is never normal and always produces needless suffering. With proper diagnosis and treatment, depression can be overcome in the vast majority of people.

Diagnosable mental illness

Includes all people with a mental illness in a specified population group, whether or not they have received a formal diagnosis from a medical or mental health professional.

Does BayView ever refer patients to other providers?

Yes. BayView’s professional clinicians refer clients to another provider if, after assessment and using best-practice treatment approaches, it is determined that a different level of care is more appropriate. For instance, BayView professionals will refer individuals whose impairment they believe requires a more intensive level of service to another provider.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are characterized by severe disturbances in eating behavior. Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by a refusal to maintain a minimally normal body weight. Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by repeated episodes of binge eating followed by compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, and other medications; fasting; or excessive exercise. In both disorders, individuals may have a disturbance in the perception of body shape, image or weight.

Effective Coping Skills

  • Ask for help
  • Be patient and understanding of yourself and others
  • Clean or organize your house, apartment or room
  • Cook or bake
  • Breathe deeply
  • Do something just for fun
  • Draw, paint or color
  • Exercise, go for a walk
  • Find a quiet place
  • Journal or write letters
  • Listen to calming music
  • Meditate or pray
  • Participate in a hobby or activity
  • Use relaxation methods
  • Take a hot shower/soak in a relaxing bath
  • Talk to someone
  • Laugh!!! — Watch a funny movie or sitcom
  • Work a puzzle or a game

Electronic Medical Records Management

Simply put, EMR is a digital version of a patient’s chart containing all the current and relevant medical, psychiatric and medication history. With our secure EMR system, doctors can access and share treatment data at the click of a mouse. EMR improves the diagnosis, treatment and speed of care delivery. As a leader in healthcare innovation, AltaPointe has embraced the relatively new field of electronic medical records as a vehicle to improve patient care.

Examples of disclosures for treatment, payment and health operations

We will use your health information for treatment (for example):

Information obtained by a doctor, nurse or other mental health professional will be recorded in your record and used to determine the course of treatment that will work best for you. Any service provided to you will be documented in the record.

We will use your health information for payment (for example):

A bill may be sent to you or a third-party payer. The information on or accompanying the bill may include information that identifies you, as well as your diagnosis.

We will use your health information for regular health operations (for example):

Members of the medical staff, the risk or quality improvement teams may use information in your health record to assess the care and outcomes in your case and others like it.

Other ways we may or may not share your health information:

Business Associates − We provide some services through contracts with business associates. (Example: certain diagnostic tests).

Directory − We do not have a directory that provides any information concerning your treatment here.

Notification − We will not disclose any information to anyone about you without your written consent/authorization.

Communication with Family − Only with your written authorization/consent will we disclose to a family member, another relative, a close friend, or any other person that you identify, health information relevant to that person’s involvement in your care or payment related to your care.

Research − We may disclose information to researchers when their research has been approved by an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your information.

Funeral Directors − We may disclose health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable law to enable them to carry out their duties.

Marketing/Continuity of Care − We may contact you to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives that may be of interest to you.

Fund raising − We will not contact you concerning any fund-raising activities.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) − We may disclose to the FDA health information relative to adverse effects/events with respect to food, drugs, supplements, product or product defects, or postmarking surveillance information to enable product recalls, repairs, or replacements.

Workers Compensation − We may disclose information to the extent authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with laws relating to workers compensation or other similar programs established by law.
Public Health − We may disclose your health information as required by law.

Correctional institution − If you are an inmate of a correctional institution, we may disclose to the institution health information necessary for your health and the health and safety of other individuals.

Law Enforcement − We may disclose your health information for law enforcement purposes as required by law or in response to a court order.

Health Oversight Agencies & Public Health Authorities − By Federal law, provisions your health information may be released provided that a work force member or business associate believes in good faith that we have engaged in unlawful conduct or have otherwise violated professional or clinical standards and are potentially endangering one or more consumers, workers or the public.

Expanded Intensive Outpatient Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

Designed for patients with mental health issues and substance abuse problem, this treatment addresses these entwined issues with an integrated treatment plan developed to effectively treat both disorders concurrently. Pregnant women always receive priority. This program is offered in Mobile.

Office hours:
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Monday through Friday

Group sessions:
8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

Facts about your care. You have the right to be told:

  • What your illness is and what the doctor thinks is the best way to treat it.
  • How long your treatment will last.
  • The cost of your treatment, what part your insurance will pay, and if there are any limits on your treatment.
  • The rules about behavior in the program.

Facts about your care. You have the right to:

  • Be told what your illness is and what the doctor thinks is the best way to treat it.
  • Be told how long your treatment will last.
  • Be told the cost of your treatment, what part your insurance will pay and if there are any limits on your treatment.
  • To be informed of the nature of possible significant adverse effects of the recommended treatment, including any appropriate and available alternative treatments, services, and/or providers.

Facts about your care. You have the right to:

  • Know why you are here and what the doctor thinks is the best way to help you.
  • Know how long you have to stay here.
  • Not be secluded or restrained unless a doctor says so.

Facts about your care. You have the right to:

  • Know why you are here and what the doctor thinks is the best way to help you.
  • Know how long you have to come here.
  • Not to be secluded or restrained unless a doctor says so.

Facts about your care. You have the right to:

  • Be told what your illness is and what the doctor thinks is the best way to treat it.
  • Be told how long your treatment will last.
  • Be told the cost of your treatment and what part your insurance will pay, and if there are any limits on your treatment.
  • Be told the rules about behavior in the program.

Facts about your medicine. You have the right to:

  • Take medicine only if ordered by a doctor.
  • Be told about your medicine, including information about any side effects that you may expect and how the medicine will help you.
  • Refuse to take any medicine, unless your care and treatment has been ordered by the court.

Facts about your medicine. You have the right to:

  • Take medicine only if ordered by a doctor.
  • Be told about your medicine, including information about any side effects you may expect and how the medicine will help you.
  • Be informed of any appropriate and available alternative treatments, services, and/or providers.
  • Refuse to take any medicine, unless your care and treatment has been ordered by the court.

Facts about your medicine. You have the right to:

  • Take medicine only if ordered by a doctor.
  • Be told about your medicine, including information about any side effects you may expect and how the medicine will help you.
  • Refuse to take any medicine, unless your care and treatment has been ordered by the court.

For more information or to report a problem

If you have questions and would like additional information, you may contact the Consumer Needs Specialist at (251) 450-4303.

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Needs Specialist at AltaPointe Health or with the US Secretary of Health & Human Services. There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint.

Your written statement to AltaPointe Health and/or the Office of Civil Rights must include the following:

  • Your name, address, telephone number, and your signature
  • How, why and when you believe you were discriminated against
  • Name and address of institution or agency you believe discriminated against you
  • Any other relevant information

 

Forensic Psychiatry

Forensic psychiatry is the area of psychiatry related to the law and the legal system. Forensic psychiatrists are trained on both civil and criminal court cases and perform services such as giving expert testimony about issues related to mental health and psychopharmacology, evaluating competency, determining whether a defendant is able to plea not guilty by reason of insanity and suggesting appropriate psychiatric treatment in place of or in addition to a prison sentence. They also provide psychiatric services to patients in legal custody. [more…]

Getting help from others. You have the right to:

Get a second opinion, at your expense.

  • File a complaint and get an answer to your complaint about services or treatment.
  • Talk to an attorney.
  • Have contact with the court system.
  • Talk to a pastor or minister and to worship in the faith of your choice.
  • Access protective services.
  • Pray, if you want to.
  • Get proper, healthy meals.
  • Have your personal belongings and clothing to wear.
  • Have visitors, to send or get mail and phone calls in private.
  • Not be put into isolation or restrained or put on drugs unless this is a part of your treatment.
  • Refuse to do any work that would financially benefit AltaPointe Health.
  • Get a free public education if you are of school age.
  • See a doctor or dentist and get the health care you need (at your own expense).
  • Formulate or have your Advanced Directive honored.

Getting help from others. You have the right to:

  • Get a second opinion, at your expense.
  • Talk to an attorney.
  • Have contact with the court system.
  • Access protective services.
  • Pray, if you want to.
  • Not be put into isolation or restrained or put on drugs unless as a part of your treatment.
  • Refuse to do any work that would financially benefit AltaPointe Health.
  • Formulate or have your Advanced Directive honored.
  • The availability of an adequate number of competent, qualified and experienced professional clinical staff to ensure appropriate implementation of the client’s service plan.

Getting help from others. You have the right to:

  • Get a second opinion, at your expense.
  • File a complaint and get an answer to your complaint about services or treatment.
  • Talk to an attorney.
  • Have contact with the court system.
  • Talk to a pastor or minister and to worship in the faith of your choice.
  • Access protective services.
  • Pray if you want.
  • Get proper, healthy meals.
  • Have your personal belongings and clothing to wear.
  • Have visitors, to send or get mail and phone calls in private.
  • Not be put into isolation or restrained or put on drugs unless as a part of your treatment.
  • Refuse to do any work that would financially benefit AltaPointe Health.
  • Get a free public education if you are of school age.
  • See a doctor or dentist and get the health care you need (at your own expense).
  • Formulate or have your Advanced Directive honored.

Has Mental Health First Aid been replicated in other countries?

Yes. To date, it has been replicated in Cambodia, Canada, England, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, and Wales in addition to the United States.

Have consumers of mental health or addictions services contributed to the development of Mental Health First Aid?

Yes. In fact, one of the original founders of the program in Australia is a consumer. Here in the United States, the National Council continually consults with mental health consumers to ensure the program content accurately reflects consumer experiences and perspectives. Consumers have maintained an active voice in focus groups, aided development of the training manual, and offered invaluable feedback on the program content itself. Additionally, a number of our certified instructors are mental health consumers themselves.

Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)

AL-501 CoC Public Notice

We collect personal information directly from you for reasons that are discussed in our privacy statement. We may be required to collect some personal information by law or by organizations that give us money to operate this program. Other personal information that we collect is important to run our programs, to improve services for homeless and/ or at-risk persons, and to better understand the needs of homeless and/ or at-risk persons. We only collect information that we consider to be appropriate. To read our full Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) privacy notice

The collection and use of all personal information is guided by strict standards of confidentiality. A copy of our Privacy Notice describing out privacy practice is available to all clients upon request.

To read our full Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) privacy notice click here. 

 

Homeless person

A person who lacks housing. The definition also includes a person living in transitional housing or a person who spends most nights in a supervised public or private facility providing temporary living quarters.

How can a business offer the BayView EAP?

Employers that want to offer their employees a confidential, professional place to receive personal counseling may enter into a contractual agreement with the BayView Employee Assistance Program. BayView EAP provides employers with the appropriate tools to help their employees who are experiencing life problems.

How can I find out what positions are currently available?

You will find a complete listing of open positions by clicking “Apply Online” on this page.

How can I learn more about Mental Health First Aid?

AltaPointe schedules training sessions daily. To learn how to participate in Mental Health First Aid training in Mobile, call (251) 450-4340.

How can I submit an AltaPraise?

Submitting an AltaPraise is easy. The most convenient way to submit an AltaPraise is an online submission form. To submit an AltaPraise online click on the submit button above. An electronic form should include a detailed description of an AltaPointe team’s exceptional customer service performance.

How do I apply for a position at AltaPointe?

Follow the instructions for applying in the “Careers” section of this website. Select the “Online Application” option. Choose from our listing of open positions and click on the Apply Now button.

How do I find a Mental Health First Aid course near me?

Search our database for up and coming courses near you here.

How do I make my first appointment?

Call CarePointe at (251) 450-2211 to speak to one of our specialists, who will gather some basic information over the phone to set up the appropriate services. Subsequent appointments may be made at the AltaPointe location where service is received.

How do I pay for services?

AltaPointe accepts most major commercial insurance as well as All Kids, Medicaid and Medicare. We also provide services to people who are uninsured, depending on their symptoms and needs. For patients who meet the criteria, financial assistance and/or a reduced fee schedule may be available.

For first-time patients, our well-informed CarePointe specialists can help you navigate complicated insurance and reimbursement matters. CarePointe is your lifeline for help and information for new or returning AltaPointe patients, those with insurance and without, and individuals needing AltaPointe services or community resources. CarePointe is your first stop on the road to recovery. Call CarePointe at (251) 450-2211.

Billing Questions
The AltaPointe Finance & Accounting Office can assist you with your billing needs. In order to assist you, please click here to complete and submit a form with your questions and information to our business office. If you prefer to speak to someone in our business office, please contact us at (251) 450-5916.

How do I schedule an appointment?

To make a first‑time appointment, please call (251) 660-2360 or (888) 335-3044 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. during a regular workday. Specialized evening services may be offered that you may discuss with your provider at your first appointment.

How do I schedule an appointment?

To make your first appointment at BayView, call CarePointe at (251) 660-2360 or (888) 335-3044. For an appointment at one of AltaPointe Health other programs, call (251) 450-2211. Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. each weekday, our specialists screen patients to determine their needs, schedule appointments, handle hospital referrals and connect callers with the appropriate services within the AltaPointe system and in the community.

How does CarePointe respond to a crisis call?

If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1.
If you are in a psychiatric crisis situation that is not life-threatening, call CarePointe at (251) 450-2211.

CarePointe is AltaPointe’s crisis phone line where we help patients in urgent situations. Our caring specialists are trained in crisis assessment and de-escalation, and, when necessary, can dispatch a Crisis Response Team. These highly skilled professionals are adept at calmly, patiently guiding a caller through dire situations.

Our Crisis Response Team

Sometimes people need extra help. AltaPointe’s Crisis Response Teams can help you when you are experiencing a time of crisis. Our teams can provide additional services for you during those times by coming to you wherever you are in Mobile County. We want you to contact us if you are experiencing any new or increased signs or symptoms. It is important that you practice coping skills and learn how to avoid a crisis altogether.

What to do if you are in Crisis – Learn More

What are the signs that someone is in a mental health crisis?

There are a number of signs and symptoms that may point to an impending crisis for an individual living with a mental illness. The following list includes some behaviors that may indicate the need to ask for help when exhibited:

alcohol use
argumentative
being anxious
bizarre behavior
crying
danger to self/others
depressed
drug use
erratic behavior
hallucinations
homicidal thoughts
impulsivity
irritability
isolating
mood swings
not eating
not sleeping
not taking medications
obsessive behavior
paranoid/fearful
restlessness
self-injury/harm
sleeping too much
suicidal thoughts
verbal aggression
wandering

How does the application process work?

  • You create a profile and attach your resume and then apply to jobs of interest.
  • All applications are reviewed.
  • We will call you for an interview if your qualifications meet our requirements and you are a preferred candidate for the position.
  • You will be contacted by an HR representative if you are selected for an interview or you will receive an email if the position you applied to closes.
  • To be considered for more than one job, you will need to apply to each opportunity individually. Once a position is closed, the application has expired unless you have applied for another position.

How many days does it take to complete the Mental Health First Aid program?

The Mental Health First Aid program runs 8 hours and may be offered in a variety of formats. Most often, it is conducted as a one-day seminar or two half-day sessions.

How much will EAP services cost an employee?

Zero. In fact, employees are encouraged to use EAP services whenever help is needed or assistance is needed in managing job or family responsibilities. EAP counseling is available for problems that can be resolved in a short time. The number of sessions depends on each particular case and the employer’s contract with BayView. Referrals are made for problems requiring more time.

If an employee seeks help, is his/her job at risk?

No. Using BayView EAP services will in no way jeopardize job security or promotional opportunities.

If I’m offered a job, what will I be required to do?

  • Submit proof of authorization to hold employment in the United States.
  • Pass a pre-employment physical, including a drug screen, prior to beginning work.
  • Attend a new employee orientation

If you are getting care in a residential setting, you also have the right to:

  • Get healthy meals.
  • Have your own things and your own clothes.
  • Not do any work that otherwise we would have to pay for.
  • Go to public school every day.
  • Pray if you want to. We cannot make you pray.
  • See a doctor or a dentist if you need to.
  • Have visitors, send mail, and make phone calls in private.

Intensive Outpatient Services (Oasis)

Geared toward the working patients, this program meets four times a week and consists primarily of group counseling sessions designed to promote a life free from addiction. Pregnant women always receive priority.

Office hours:
10 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. – Thursday

Group sessions:
5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Thursday

Intensive Outpatient Services for Women

Designed specifically for women, this program meets three times a week and consists primarily of group counseling sessions designed to promote a life free from addiction. Pregnant women always receive priority.

Office Hours:
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Monday through Friday

Group Sessions:
8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

Is there evidence to support the effectiveness of the program?

Yes, in fact, the strong evidence base is the very reason the National Council selected this particular program. Five published studies in Australia show that the program saves lives, improves the mental health of the individual administering care and the one receiving it, expands knowledge of mental illnesses and their treatments, increases the services provided and reduces overall stigma by improving mental health literacy. One trial of 301 randomized participants found that those who trained in Mental Health First Aid have greater confidence in providing help to others, greater likelihood of advising people to seek professional help, improved concordance with health professionals about treatments, and decreased stigmatizing attitudes. Unexpectedly, the study also found that Mental Health First Aid improved the mental health of the participants themselves. For further evidence supporting the implementation of Mental Health First Aid, please see the Evaluation section of the Australian Mental Health First Aid website: http://www.mhfa.com.au/evaluation.shtml

James Smith

When 36-year-old James Smith was a little boy, he dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player. Today, he dreams of recovery from mental illness and being well enough to leave the AltaPointe group home where he lives.

“I haven’t felt depressed in a really long time,” Smith shared. “My goal is to go home and for people to see I am just like everyone else.”

Smith was among 13 patients from the Mobile area admitted to Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa after Searcy State Psychiatric Hospital in Mt. Vernon closed its doors Oct. 31, 2012.

“I do not want to go back to Bryce,” Smith added. “There is no freedom there… no group showers here, and I have my own room.”

Because of their symptoms, these patients’ personal freedoms were restricted in that environment. The Searcy closure plan designated Bryce as the hospital that would treat Mobile area patients who were not ready to be treated in a community setting because their behaviors were a potential danger.

Smith has been involuntarily committed twice. The first time was in 2005, when he was evaluated at BayPointe Hospital and then sent to Searcy. He was released three months later. Smith described the experience as being caught off guard.

“I thought, ‘Oh my god,’ because I did not know they could do that…put you anywhere for mental illness. I tried to keep my mouth shut during the hearing. The second time I had a hearing, I decided to speak up.”

Records indicate Smith’s diagnosis has varied over the course of his treatment ranging from schizophrenia to bipolar disorder. In the course of his illness, he has had paranoid ideations, trouble sleeping, shown aggression and moodiness, and had problems staying on his medications while living in the community, among many other symptoms.

Smith was committed a second time in 2012 to Searcy and, when Searcy closed, he was transferred to Bryce because it was determined he needed further inpatient treatment. Three months later, Smith was released from Bryce to AltaPointe’s Lakefront

Intermediate Care Facility (ICF), which meant he was able to be treated close to his home and family, who is involved in his treatment.

“If I did not have my family, I would be depressed,” Smith said. Despite his struggle to maintain wellness over his lifetime, Smith attended and graduated from college, earning a bachelor’s degree in pre-medical studies.

Progress at ICF leads to group home While living at Lakefront ICF, Smith made rapid progress, according to Patricia Sullivan, adult residential assistant director. Unlike an institutional setting, AltaPointe tailors care to meet individual patient needs. Sullivan attributes Smith’s success to the frequent psychiatric care and treatment services he received.

“He was seen daily by a doctor and received partial hospitalization treatment services five days a week,” Sullivan added. “After two-and-a-half months, he had shown significant progress and maintained stability. Then he made the transition to a less restrictive level of care and moved into one of AltaPointe’s group homes. He was discharged from his commitment status at that time.”

In an institutional setting, patients often are allowed outside for only one hour each day. AltaPointe provides patients with more time outdoors and in the community. A sock cap pulled over his head, most days you will find Smith walking the grounds of the Zeigler campus since he says sitting still is hard for him, and he enjoys being outside.

“I want to be treated like a normal person, and not be talked to like I am unintelligent,” Smith said. “People like me are not rare; actually, there are more people like me.”

Smith hopes one day more people will understand this, and that soon he will get to go home.

 

 

Journey to Recovery

I am currently a consumer with a mental health disorder. For over ten years I have dealt with the ups and downs of dealing with the mental health disorder. I often refer to another lesson and story in life when telling my own story and how I overcame these obstacles. There is a phrase that says, “I think I can; I think I can,” from the Little Engine That Could. I believe this lesson would best describe what I felt during those moments, yet I knew I could overcome. Faced with derailment or hospitalization and relapse, I came to the conclusion that I had to remain strong even at a low point in life. With life being a journey and change being a part of that journey, I felt the need to remain positive and develop a mind of positive thinking. This would allow me to adapt to the changes I faced.

I developed a strong recovery team by first of all accepting my disability as only one chapter that was written and the will to overcome as another. I am aware now that I play a very important roll in the ongoing recovery process. Also, by sticking to the regiment of taking medications and being in compliance with treatment; the treatment team that consists of a psychiatrist, nurses, therapist, family, my pastor, friends, and, again, me, I was well on my way. One positive thought that allowed me to change the thinking process remains with me from a therapist who said, “Don’t worry, focus on the solution not the problem.” One of my worries was would I be able to work again. So I began to focus on the solution to find a job that fits me and affords me the opportunity to help someone just as I have been helped. Since then, I have become a peer specialist to support other consumers just like me.

I am a self-taught artist who went further to develop the skills in art by taking art in middle school, high school, and college level. I embrace all the art forms including performing and liberal arts. However, painting has helped me give an image and expression of the lessons I have learned when dealing with the mental health disorder. One piece of my work shows how the recovery team stood behind me and helped me bring about that change. I use a word from the Greek for the title, “Metamorphoo = Change.” Being diagnosed with a mental health disorder was a tremendous change in my life, and recovery is a continual process. A butterfly does not start off a butterfly. It goes through a stage called metamorphosis and turns out to be a new creature.

Journey to Recovery

During the late teenage years, I encountered challenges where I experienced a combination of mental health disorders. I am currently going through the recovery process. With the onset of these disorders, I have been challenged with something I feel that is of great importance to many individuals, which would be functioning with a standard of independence. I am.

One of the obstacles I face deals with finances and learning to count money. As a female, I enjoy shopping but I have had assistance in the past when finalizing my purchase. My treatment team thought it best that I enroll in a day program where I could develop these skills. While attending this program, I have learned to count money and developed the skills to do so. Also, I am currently learning to budget my finances to know how much I have to spend and what is within my means.

Journey to Recovery

In my early teenage years I was faced with the onset of a mental health disorder. I am currently a consumer of a local mental health facility. Upon diagnosis things were very confusing. Not knowing what to expect or what to do. Life for me became a challenge. The attitudes of my peers changed because I was diagnosed and, during that time, teens could be cruel. However, I was able to make new friends and learn to cope with the stigma that comes along with any type of mental health disorder.

Though faced with challenges,I overcame with the support of staff and others who support me in my recovery process. With the different types of medications set aside for these type disorders,doctors found a fit for me and gave me a variety of treatment options to assist me on the road to recovery. I enrolled in an Independent Day Program and have been coming for over five years. This has helped to shape me as a person. I currently am learning new coping skills, social skills, and techniques, such as. anger management and how to face opposition.

 

 

Journey to Recovery

I am currently recovering from a mental health disorder. My recovery is an ongoing process. I lost my father a few years ago and immediately my therapist and those who support me in the recovery process helped me to cope and go through the grieving process. I am reminded that for anyone, not just me, and because I have a mental health disorder, that grieving properly is a healthy way to continue on life’s journey and find new beginning points afterward.

Independence is very important to me as a young woman who has dealt with a combination of mental health disorders. As a consumer, I have developed a treatment team that has allowed me to build a strong recovery foundation. I have been attending the Independent Day Treatment program, which has been very beneficial in the recovery process. At day treatment, I enjoy the way I am treated by the staff and my peers. Also, I have learned many techniques and skills to support and shape my independence. I enjoy the various activities we do in day treatment. Some my favorites are reading, writing and word search puzzles. I also enjoy listening to music and watching sports on television, which helps me to relax and cope with the mental health disorder.

 


Journey to Recovery

It feels like a longing feeling in your gut.

Like missing a relative who was never good to you, an abusive boyfriend and the relationship has got to end.

Because after all, addiction is not a friend.

It feels like your mouth is watering for a food that makes you sick.

Saying yes to something your Jiminy Cricket says no to.

Addiction is like a best friend that controls your life.

It is not a friend at all.

Written by an adolescent substance abuse patient

 

“I usually wake up pretty upset no matter who is around since it really isn’t about people and more about the fact that I can’t drink. I’ve been hanging around friends less and less since I am more concerned about partying alone than seeing them. All they talk about anymore is how I have a problem. I don’t really care since going out with them usually ends in us getting angry at each other. I can’t really find anything else to do other than find some way to use or acquire an illicit substance. I do not know yet what I’ll do when I get bored of that though.”

Written by an adolescent substance abuse program patient

 

“Coping with addiction at such a young age is very challenging. You have peers around you pressuring you to do things you don’t want to do. You just have to think of yourself and the trouble you could get in if you give into the peer pressure.”

Written by an adolescent substance abuse program patient

 

“I am 16 and have been sent to court twice. It is hard being 16 and thinking of the life I have ahead of me. This is not the way to live. Just think of you loved ones, and how they feel when you go through this. It is simple…don’t do drugs.”

Written by an adolescent substance abuse program patient

 

 

 

 

Journey to Recovery

I am currently a consumer with a mental health disorder. For over ten years I have dealt with the ups and downs of dealing with the mental health disorder. I often refer to another lesson and story in life when telling my own story and how I overcame these obstacles. There is a phrase that says “I think I can; I think I can” from the Little Engine that Could. I believe this lesson would best describe what I felt during those moments yet I knew I could overcome. Faced with derailment or hospitalization and relapse I came to the conclusion that I had to remain strong even at a low point in life. With life being a journey and change being a part of that journey I felt the need to remain positive and develop a mind of positive thinking. This will allow me to adapt to the changes I faced.

I developed a strong recovery team by first of all accepting my disability as only one chapter that was written and the will to overcome as another, and I am aware now that I play a very important roll in the ongoing recovery process. Also, by sticking to the regiment of taking medications and being in compliance with treatment; the treatment team that consists of a psychiatrist, nurses, therapist, family, my pastor, friends, and again me I was well on my way. One positive thought that allowed me to change the thinking process remains with me from a therapist that said, “Don’t worry, focus on the solution not the problem.” One of my worries was will I be able to work again. So I began to focus on the solution to find a job that fits me and affords me the opportunity to help someone just as I have been helped. Since then, I have become a peer-specialist to support other consumers just like myself.

I am a self-taught artist who went further to develop the skills in art by taking art in middle school, high school, and collegiate level. I embrace all the art forms including performing and liberal arts. However, painting has helped me give an image and expression of the lessons I have learned when dealing with the mental health disorder. One piece of my work shows how the recovery team stood behind me and helped me bring about that change, and I use a word from the Greek for the title, “Metamorphoo = Change.” Being diagnosed with a mental health disorder was a tremendous change in my life and recovery is a continual process. A butterfly does not start off a butterfly. It goes through a stage called metamorphosis and turns out to be a new creature.

Journey to Recovery

At 12, I was faced with a tragedy that no one should ever have to endure — sexual abuse. At a devastatingly young age my innocence was stripped from me. I was left scared, confused, and very much alone to deal with the aftermath. Over the next few years, I sank into a deep depression and was overcome with unbelievable amounts of anxiety. Soon enough though, I felt nothing. I became nothing more than the mask I put on every day. I thought that if no one else saw my pain then it wasn’t real. Much like a soldier back from combat, my demons kept coming back and with a growing vengeance.

Thinking about death is scary, but the thought that death may be better than life can be catastrophic. With my 15th birthday came a blow that landed me in a harsh reality. I was literally brought to my knees by emotions that my body was forcing out in any way possible. I had convulsions and catatonic phases that lasted for hours on end, and multiple panic attacks that wracked my mind and pulled me back into my darkest moments. That was the bottom. But, I was one of the lucky ones. I got help. Thus began my voyage back from hell.

PTSD – so now I have a label. But with that label came the support I needed to start living again. Sure, I am behind in school and, yes, I need medicine to help me stay in control, but I am alive, and that is what matters. For a while each step forward was exhausting and painful. There were plenty of times I wanted to give up and give in. But I didn’t. I made it, and every day I’m getting stronger.

This strength is not something I developed alone. Along my journey, I connected with a multitude of people in similar situations. All I had to do was look around and ask. There were so many people in my area that had experienced similar misfortunes. Connecting with those people helped me to feel accepted, hopeful and excited for the future. I am now a straight ‘A’ student and on my way to independence. Little things like driver’s education and getting a job excite me.

Journey to Recovery

Ringing in a new year as a patient in a psychiatric hospital isn’t something I ever dreamed I would do. Yet, when I realized I needed serious help, I voluntarily admitted myself into EastPointe Hospital in Daphne on Dec. 31. I had a setback after the death of my wife, and I started drinking again, so I went over to EastPointe to get back on track.

I have bipolar disease and have been known to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. My mental illness coupled with addiction sent me to EastPointe. From the moment I was admitted I began working on my recovery and going home well. One of the staff members gave me some information about substance abuse, [saying] that there is a solution with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). I read those items every day and every night.

Since my release on Jan. 8, I have jumped back into sober living and taking care of my mental health. I credit my support system for this recovery; which includes my mother and AltaPointe, where I continue to receive outpatient services.

It’s not hard; you just have to have the proper people in your life and in your corner. When you are going through difficult times, your family can be so wrapped up in their own lives; AltaPointe filled that gap for me. I thought I was fine and comfortable, but really [I was] just harming myself.

 

 

 

Journey to Recovery

When I answered the phone, my teenaged son, Patrick, was at school and sounded agitated. He told me he felt like everybody had turned against him and that everybody was talking behind his back. That conversation marked the first signs of Patrick’s schizophrenia and a life I describe as being like a roller-coaster ride full of hospitalizations and stabilizations. That was 11 years ago.

My son was a standout student and athlete in high school, until that day when “something just snapped” and everything changed. He had never shown signs of the disease before that day and that his actions came “out of the blue.” Living with the disease hasn’t been easy. He had a breakdown, and the doctor thought he should be committed. So, I had him involuntarily committed. He’s been to BayPointe, Searcy and has lived in a group home.

When Patrick was discharged from the group home in 2009, I began taking care of him. He is unable to hold a job because he cannot focus. When he is off his medicine, he hears voices and walks around carrying on conversations, alone. He is almost childlike; he is 26. I understand his behaviors are part of the disease, and knowing help is available is a great comfort. I found that help in the AltaPointe Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team.

Once my son was hooked up with the ACT Team, my life changed. They have been wonderful. The team takes intensive outpatient services to consumers in their homes, on the street, or wherever they may be, as frequently as needed to reduce the number of hospitalizations. ACT team services include therapy, case management, medication management and medication administration, all of which Patrick needed. I work full time and rely on the ACT team to make sure Patrick is well and taking his medication when I’m away.

 

Journey to Recovery

Hi. I came to BayPointe Hospital in May 2015. When I first got here I did not think that I belonged here. As time went by I realized that there was a purpose. In the beginning, I had a lot of issues with getting along with my peers. Once the summer came and I had adjusted to BayPointe I started down a very positive path.

Even with all the drama on the unit, I was still able to consistently make level and I continued to progress. Then a change came when my therapist got a new job and I received a new therapist. I did not handle it well. For a few weeks, I regressed. I couldn’t deal with the changes my new unit therapist made. The unit therapist was not my individual therapist but she changed a lot of rules my previous therapist had. After accepting my old therapist was not coming back, I was able to understand and get along with the new unit therapist.

I’ve been here nearly a year. My advice for people getting admitted is…no matter what happens to make sure you focus on what is in front of you and to follow the program it makes things a lot easier. Don’t get caught up in mess and be respectful.

My advice to parents of the admitted is to listen to what your kids have to say. Be supportive in their treatment. And lastly, my advice to staff is to learn from the kids and in return, they will learn from you.

Journey to Recovery

I am 60 years old and was just recently diagnosed with bipolar 2, although I have been having episodes since I was in my teens. Back then, I just called them my ‘crazy times.’ I first sought therapy when I was 21 years old. Although my therapist put her heart and soul into helping me, I drifted in to cocaine abuse, and further and further away from my family and friends. I lost my 20’s and most of my 30’s.

Then I became pregnant at age 35. Something inside me told me this was my only chance to be a mom. I announced my intention to keep the baby to my family’s horror and joined a support group. I never used cocaine again and the baby was born healthy. I was a good mom. Dedicated, completely in love and clean. He was joined by a sister and brother and I married their father.

For many years I was episode free. But when my younger brother, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, committed suicide I fell. Back then, the episodes were years apart and almost livable. I went to nursing school and entered a career as a RN nurse manager. But the episodes got closer together, longer in duration and more intense. My kids knew sometimes I was weird. They said of the episodes, “Mom’s just in a thing.”

My kids grew up, I divorced and continued to raise my kids while my mental illness grew unbearable. I was somehow able to work as an RN, support my family but more and more ‘things’ happened. I was diagnosed with recurrent severe depression and anxiety. I think I tried every antidepressant and anti-psychotic ever made, but medications failed me. My psychiatrist was at his wits end to help me.

My kids are grown now. All in their 20’s and good people with big hearts. They have watched me rise and fall so many times. Hiding in bed or pacing and moaning with anxiety. Unable to concentrate, unable to cook, pay bills or see friends or family. And then one day I would walk out and say “Hello, I’m back.” and everyone would sigh in relief.

But last summer I gave up. I was having episodes every two or three months, lasting six to eight weeks. I turned to alcohol in a big way. My children took my keys and my money, but I was too sneaky. I stole their cars or walked–wobbled– up the street to the store. The more I drank, the more pitiful I became. The more ashamed, sick, sad and sorry. Two stints of impatient care and medication changes changed nothing. A DUI and reckless driving arrest at noon on a Sunday, a trip to jail in handcuffs, loss of my job and still the episodes continued. I wrote suicide notes to my daughter.

Today, I live in a cozy little apartment, having sold my house. I see my therapist every other week, bless his heart. I no longer work as a nurse. The state of Oregon’s background check labels me as a risk to vulnerable persons, and I agree. It’s not safe. My family and close friends all know. No more hiding Mom in the back bedroom. Eight people have a key to my apartment. I have a dog.

Today I am going to my first NAMI support group. I feel hope. I feel content for the first time in many years. I will always be afraid of the next ‘thing’ and will always carry the ugly memories, but my children have accepted that I am mentally ill. Embraced it even, I think. They talk about my illness in terms of ‘we.’

“We will deal with it,” and “We will find ways to keep you safe or from hurting anybody else.” Not “Get over it,” “Snap out of it,” or “You deal with it.”

I’m hoping today I might meet someone who understands. And hope feels good.

Source Nami.org, July 2015

 

Journey to Recovery

Ringing in a new year as a patient in a psychiatric hospital isn’t something I ever dreamed I would do. Yet, when I realized I needed serious help, I voluntarily admitted myself into EastPointe Hospital in Daphne on Dec. 31. I had a setback with the death of my wife and I started drinking again so, I went over to EastPointe to get back on track.

I have bipolar disease and have been known to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. My mental illness coupled with addiction sent me to EastPointe. From the moment I was admitted I began working on my recovery and going home well. One of the staff members gave me some information about substance abuse, [saying] that there is a solution with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). I read those items every day and every night.

Since my release on Jan. 8, I have jumped back into sober living and taking care of my mental health. I credit my support system for this recovery; which includes my mother and AltaPointe, where I continue to receive outpatient services.

It’s not hard you just have to have the proper people in your life and in your corner. When you are going through difficult times, your family can be so wrapped up in their own lives; AltaPointe filled that gap for me. I thought I was fine and comfortable, but really [I was] just harming myself.

 

Journey to Recovery

I am currently in recovery from a mental illness. My recovery is an ongoing process. I lost my father a few years ago and immediately my therapist and those who support me in the recovery process helped me to cope and begin the grieving process.

I am reminded that for anyone, not just people with a mental health disorder like me, grieving properly is a healthy way to continue on life’s journey. I have found many new beginning points along the way.

My independence is very important to me…especially as a young woman who has dealt with a combination of mental health disorders. Thankfully, my treatment team helps me build a strong recovery foundation to maintain my independence. Part of that includes attending the Independent Day Treatment program. It has been very beneficial in my recovery process. During day treatment I enjoy the way I am treated by the staff and my peers. Also, I have learned many techniques and skills to support and shape my independence.

I enjoy the various activities we do in day treatment. Some of my favorites are reading, writing and word search puzzles. I also enjoy listening to music and watching sports on television which all help me to relax and cope with my mental illness.

 

Journey to Recovery

In my early teenage years I was faced with the onset of a mental health disorder. I am currently a consumer of a local mental health facility. Upon diagnosis things were very confusing. I did not know what to expect or what to do. Life for me became a challenge. The attitudes of my peers changed because I was diagnosed with a mental health disorder and during that time teens could be cruel. However, I was able to make new friends and learn to cope with the stigma that comes along with any type of mental health disorder.

Though faced with challenges I overcame them with the support of staff and others who support me in my recovery process. With the different types of medications set aside for these type of disorders doctors found a fit for me and gave me a variety of treatment options to assist me on the road to recovery.

I enrolled in an Independent Day Treatment Program and have been coming for more than 5 years. This has helped to shape me as a person. I am currently learning new coping skills, social skills, and techniques such as anger management and how to face opposition.

Journey to Recovery

At 12, I was faced with a tragedy that no one should ever have to endure – sexual abuse. At a devastatingly young age, my innocence was stripped from me. I was left scared, confused, and very much alone to deal with the aftermath. Over the next few years, I sank into a deep depression and was overcome with unbelievable amounts of anxiety. Soon enough though, I felt nothing. I became nothing more than the mask I put on every day. I thought that if no one else saw my pain then it wasn’t real. Much like a soldier back from combat, my demons kept coming back and with a growing vengeance.

Thinking about death is scary, but the thought that death may be better than life can be catastrophic. With my 15th birthday came a blow that landed me in a harsh reality. I was literally brought to my knees by emotions that my body was forcing out in any way possible. I had convulsions and catatonic phases that lasted for hours on end, and multiple panic attacks that wracked my mind and pulled me back into my darkest moments. That was the bottom. But, I was one of the lucky ones. I got help. Thus began my voyage back from hell.

PTSD – so now I have a label. But with that label came the support I needed to start living again. Sure, I am behind in school and, yes, I need medicine to help me stay in control, but I am alive, and that is what matters. For a while, each step forward was exhausting and painful. There were plenty of times I wanted to give up and give in. But I didn’t. I made it, and every day I’m getting stronger.

This strength is not something I developed alone. Along my journey, I connected with a multitude of people in similar situations. All I had to do was look around and ask. There were so many people in my area that had experienced similar misfortunes. Connecting with those people helped me to feel accepted, hopeful and excited for the future. I am now a straight ‘A’ student and on my way to independence. Little things like driver’s education and getting a job excite me.

Journey to Recovery

What it’s like living with depression

I think a lot about the fact that people who don’t live with mental health conditions really don’t have a clue about what the experience is like for those of us who do. I thought I would dedicate this to trying to help people to understand what it is like. I am going to try and write what a typical experience is like for someone living with depression, at least from my experience. It can vary from person to person, but in my sharing and listening to others, this is a very similar and shared experience for many of us.

You sit on the side of your bed and take the myriad of medication that have been prescribed for you, but aren’t sure even work. You go to bed exhausted but the thoughts in your head won’t stop, your thoughts are racing from one thing to the next. You think about everything going on in your life. How you can’t stand your job, how worthless you feel, how your relationships are fading into oblivion because of your situation. You worry about having to get up and go to work the next day because you can’t sleep. You keep looking at the clock every hour worrying because you know you have to get up soon to go to work.

By about 4 a.m. if you’re lucky you might drift off to sleep. The alarm goes off at 6 or 7 a.m., and you get up and take a shower if you can manage. You don’t bother putting on makeup because you don’t really care anymore how you look. You get in the car and on the way contemplate smashing into a tree or wall instead of going to work but don’t. When you get to work, you sit in the parking lot staring at the door and it seems 20 miles away and you drag your feet because they feel like cement blocks as you walk.

Once inside you go about your day, but you can’t focus on anything you do all day long anyway ,and you make a lot of mistakes. People ask you how you are, and you always say “fine” because you know they don’t really care. You finally go home and plop yourself on the couch and eat whatever is easiest or you don’t eat at all. Bedtime rolls around, and the routine starts over with the sleep problem and the racing thoughts. This time you call in sick because you just can’t stand the thought of working. You get up the next day and grab a bag of chips and a two liter of pop because you know it is the only thing you will be able to “fix” to eat because you’re not getting yourself off the couch or out of bed for anything but the toilet the rest of the day.

You call your friend and talk for a while, and when they ask you how you are you tell them the truth and they give you some great advice about how you should get some sunshine and go for a walk.

After the call, you go to bed, slam down the rest of the chips and sleep the rest of the day. Maybe tomorrow will be the day you will finally kill yourself after all, if you can find the energy to take a walk in the sunshine you can find the energy for that, right?

This sounds really morbid, but it was my mindset five months ago. It is where I lived, and no amount of sunshine, walking, meds or therapy was helping. I was hospitalized three times during this period of my life, the second was after a very serious suicide attempt that was nearly successful. It was the lowest point in my life. What I needed was people present 24/7 in my life to show me support along with the meds, therapy and hospitalization. I needed the group therapy and the people in my life to step up. It took more than I was getting. I have that support now and am in a much better place.

Please share this with the people in your life. Tell them they are needed. Don’t be afraid to speak up for the support you so desperately need. I am glad that I am still here to share my story. The people in your life need you here more than you know, but they just don’t understand the pain you are feeling. Help them to understand. 

 

Source: https://www.nami.org/Personal-Stories/A-Day-in-the-Life#

Juvenile justice facility

Includes detention centers, shelters, reception or diagnostic centers, training schools, ranches, forestry camps or farms, halfway houses and group homes, and residential treatment centers for young offenders.

Let us help you find the right employee

We can do so much more than a “help wanted” ad. After learning about your business needs, AltaPointe’s dedicated Supported Employment team will help you find the right candidate, saving you time, and we’ll continue our support after hire, for as long as you would like.

It’s not just about finding an employee. It’s about finding the right employee.

 

The AltaPointe Supported Employment program assists individuals with mental illness find community-integrated competitive  employment with companies throughout our region. Cultivating opportunities with local employers is a key element in the supported employment process. The team works tirelessly with employers to help them understand the benefits of working with our Supported Employment program and encouraging their participation

Jackson Janitorial Services was recognized with the “2016 Employer of the Year” award for their continued support of our program and working with our clients. Jackson is just one of many local businesses utilizing our services.

If you are an employer seeking the best employee match for your business, please contact AltaPointe’s Supported Employment program for assistance.

For more information, contact our Supported Employment team at (251) 450-4301.

 

 

 

 

 

Let us help you with your job search

 

At AltaPointe, we strive to develop different competitive employment opportunities; all while providing the support you need to grow your skills and confidence, make new friends, earn some money and thrive in your job!

Our trained employment specialists will guide you through every step of the employment process helping to eliminate any undue stress. We understand the many challenges you may face from questions  about benefits, pressure from family members, even the lack of transportation.

The Supported Employment team works closely with individuals to:

  • Understand their strengths and weaknesses
  • Help them establish realistic, personal goals
  • Help them address each of their concerns

Working in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, AltaPointe provides job education and competitive job placement  services for people living with mental illness who desire to work.

I hadn’t worked in a long time, so I was scared about starting a new job. Now that I am working, I feel like I can achieve my other goals.

From our initial meeting, we aim to build a trusting partnership with you. We take time to find out what you are good at and what you like to do. You may need help with your resume’, interview coaching or your needs might be greater; depending on your circumstances, we offer as little or as much assistance as you need or want. We want you to enjoy the benefits of working as soon as possible.

Whether you are a person living with mental illness who is searching for a competitive job, or an AltaPointe staff member working with someone who has expressed an interest in employment, please contact AltaPointe’s Supported Employment program for more information at (251) 450-4301.

Making decisions about your care. You have the right to:

Have a treatment plan set up for your needs and to have it reviewed on a regular basis.

  • Help plan your treatment and have your family participate, if you want.
  • Get your treatment in the place that is the least restrictive for you.
  • Refuse any treatment unless it has been ordered by a court.

 

Making decisions about your care. You have the right to:

  • Have a treatment plan set up for your needs and to have it reviewed on a regular basis.
  • Receive services based on your treatment plan and be provided with appropriate information to facilitate decision making regarding treatment.
  • Help plan your treatment and have your family participate if you want.
  • Express your preference of provider.
  • Refuse any treatment unless it has been ordered by a court.
  • The provision of care according to accepted clinical practice standards within the least restrictive and most accommodating environment possible.

Making decisions about your care. You have the right to:

  • See your record.
  • Help plan your treatment.
  • Get your treatment in the place that least restricts you.
  • Not have any treatment unless the judge says you have to.

Making decisions about your care. You have the right to:

  • See your record.
  • Help plan your treatment.
  • Get your treatment in the place that least restricts you.
  • Not have any treatment unless the judge says you have to.

Making decisions about your care. You have the right to:

  • Have a treatment plan set up for your needs and to have it reviewed on a regular basis.
  • Help plan your treatment and have your family participate if you want.
  • Get your treatment in the place that is the least restrictive for you.
  • Refuse any treatment unless it has been ordered by a court.

 

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) helps people living with opioid addiction reclaim their lives. Most people need help to change addictive behavior into non-addictive, healthful patterns. Through its outpatient MAT program, AltaPointe professionals work with individuals who meet criteria to provide medication-assisted treatment in an outpatient setting. Medication-assisted treatment has been used since the 1960s to help people who are dependent on opioids. A combination of medication assistance and continued support and therapy, to include individual, group and family counseling, helps most patients live free of addiction.

The program offers early morning hours that are conducive to work, family and active lifestyles.

Patients may pay for services through Medicaid or other self-pay, sliding scale methods. During the initial phone assessment with CarePointe, our specialists review payment methods and billing procedures. Most patients may qualify for free services.

For program information, please call (251) 666-2569.
Adult Outpatient Services, West Mobile Office 4211 Government Blvd.

Mental health services

Diagnostic, treatment, and preventive care that helps improve how persons with mental illness feel both physically and emotionally as well as how they interact with other persons. These services also help persons who have a strong risk of developing a mental illness.

Mental Health Services and the 2016 Alabama State Budget

It is vital to communicate your concerns about the Alabama State Budget 2016 as proposed by the Legislature to your state representatives and senators.

Share your personal stories with officials in your own words. In addition, we suggest you include the following points to your elected officials:

  • Any budget cuts will have a negative impact on the delivery of services by the Alabama Department of Mental Health.
  • The Legislative proposed budget would significantly impact current and future services provided to individuals diagnosed and living with intellectual and developmental disabilities, serious mental illnesses, severe emotional disturbances (children and adolescents) and substance abuse disorders.
  • As the family member/relative/friend of an individual who depends on these services, not having access to these services will place my loved one/friend at risk of becoming sicker/their illness spiraling downward.
  • People with severe mental illnesses and disabilities are dependent on these services to survive and function in the community. Without these services, their safety and the safety of the communities in which they live will be jeopardized.
  • As a tax-paying, law-abiding resident of Alabama, I encourage you to consider the facts about how cutting funds for mental health disability services will, in the long run, cost all Alabamians more money. The expense of removing vital mental health services would be measured not just in dollars but in human lives.
  • Do not cut funding to the Alabama Department of Mental Health.

Here is the contact information for state legislators from Baldwin, Mobile and Washington counties:

Click to email a delegate

Mobile County Legislative Delegation

104 S Lawrence St.
Mobile AL 36602
(251) 208-5480
Fax 251-208-5492
www.legislature.state.al.us/

Baldwin and Washington County

Mental illness:

The term that refers collectively to all diagnosable mental disorders. Mental disorders are health conditions characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof) that are all mediated by the brain and associated with distress or impaired functioning or both. Mental disorders spawn a host of human problems that may include personal distress, impaired functioning and disability, pain, or death. These disorders can occur in men and women of any age and in all racial and ethnic groups. They can be the result of family history, genetics, or other biological, environmental, social, or behavioral factors that occur alone or in combination.

National Relaxation Day 2018

Today is National Relaxation Day! That’s right. There is a whole day dedicated to relaxing! So after your long day, get home and do just that; relax. If you don’t often relax or forgot how with the busyness of life; take a look at our top 5 tips for relaxation.

Go ahead – sit back, relax, and enjoy!

  1. Create a “5 senses toolkit” to carry with you so you can relax anywhere, anytime. For example, create a playlist of your favorite relaxing songs, or carry a vial of calming essential oil such as lavender.
  2. Get a massage. If you can’t afford a massage, here’s what you can do…locate your favorite pressure points. There is one between your thumb and index finger, just press there, or roll your foot over a golf ball. You can also press your tongue to the roof of your mouth.
  3. Watch YouTube videos of laughing babies or funny cat videos – we know this sounds silly, but these two subjects have been shown in recent research to raise serotonin levels in the brain.
  4. Close your eyes and for 5 minutes, imagine yourself at your favorite destination – it can be one you’ve visited before or one that is on your bucket list.
  5. Just breathe! Practice and use tactical breathing, either as needed or as a preventive measure to promote optimal oxygen levels in the bloodstream: 4 counts in through the nose, hold for 4 counts and exhale through the mouth for 4 counts. Repeat, repeat, repeat!

Tips provided by AltaPointe’s BayView Professional Associates‘ therapist, Barbara Leigh LPC-S, NCC

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a behavior disorder, usually diagnosed in childhood, which is characterized by uncooperative, defiant, negativistic, irritable, and annoying behaviors towards parents, peers, teachers, and other authority figures. Children and adolescents with ODD are more distressing or irritable to others than they are distressed or troubled themselves. Almost 50 percent of all children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (especially boys) tend also to have ODD, characterized by negative, hostile, and defiant behaviors. ODD is reported to affect 2 percent to 16 percent of children and adolescents in the general population and is more common in boys than girls.

Clinically Significant Symptoms of ODD include at least four of the following:

  • Often loses temper
  • Often argues with adults
  • Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ requests
  • Often deliberately annoys people
  • Often blames others for his/her mistakes or misbehavior
  • Is often touchy or easily annoyed by others
  • Is often angry or resentful
  • Is often spiteful or vindictive

The disturbances must cause significant impairment in social, academic or occupational functioning. Age of onset typically occurs before the age of 8 and not usually later than adolescence. The pattern of behavior must last for at least six months and not be associated in stages in which oppositional behavior does occur (Peak time is between 18 and 24 months of age or the “terrible twos”).
Treatment for ODD includes individual therapy with the child and counseling or training with the parents in child management skills.

 

Oppositional-Defiant Disorder

A disorder of early to middle childhood that may evolve into a conduct disorder, usually diagnosed before the age of twelve; children with oppositional defiant disorder defy adult rules, are angry, and often lose their tempers. [more…]

Our responsibilities

AltaPointe Health is required to:

  • Maintain the privacy of your health information.
  • Provide you with notice as to our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information we collect and maintain about you.
  • Abide by the terms of this notice.
  • Notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction.
  • Accommodate reasonable requests you may have to communicate health information by other means or at other locations.
  • Train our personnel concerning privacy and confidentiality; implement a sanction policy to discipline those who breach privacy or confidentiality of our policy.

We reserve the right to change our practices and to make the new provisions effective for all protected health information we maintain. Should our Information practices change; the revised notice will be available through your therapist and in the lobby of the facility.

We will not use or disclose your health information without your authorization, except as described in this notice.

Parity, mental health parity

Equivalent benefits and restrictions in insurance coverage for mental health services and for other health services.

Practice Your Coping Skills

Call and talk to someone on your treatment team, such as a case manager, therapist or nurse. If your treatment team is unavailable, ask to speak with our Outpatient Liaison, who will contact a member of our team to assist you promptly.

If you call after business hours, contact us at (251) 450-2211. We have treatment teams working to assist you seven days a week. We will do whatever we can to work with you to resolve the crisis − talk with you on the phone, come to visit with you, schedule follow-up appointments, arrange for you to receive more services or whatever is appropriate for your situation.

Practice Your Coping Skills

  • Ask for help
  • Be patient and understanding of yourself and others
  • Clean or organize your house, apartment or room
  • Cook or bake
  • Breathe deeply
  • Do something just for fun
  • Draw, paint or color
  • Exercise, go for a walk
  • Find a quiet place
  • Journal or write letters
  • Listen to calming music
  • Meditate or pray
  • Participate in a hobby or activity
  • Use relaxation methods
  • Take a hot shower/soak in a relaxing bath
  • Talk to someone
  • Laugh!!! — Watch a funny movie or sitcom
  • Work a puzzle or a game

Psychiatric Social Worker

Core mental health professionals that have earned the MSW and are trained to appreciate and emphasize the impact of environmental factors on mental disorders. LCSW designates Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Psychiatrists

These core mental health professionals have had extensive residency experience and have earned the MD degree. Training focuses on psychopharmacology (or medication management of mental health issues) and the other medical therapies, diagnosis, and psychotherapy or psychoanalysis. Specialties include Forensic Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Geriatric Psychiatry.

Psychoanalysis

An approach to psychology that emphasizes unconscious motives and conflicts. It encompasses both a theory of personality and a method of psychotherapy. [more about psychoanalysis]

Psychoanalytic Method

In psychoanalytic therapy, the effort to bring unconscious material into consciousness often through dream recall and free association.

Psychopharmacology

The management of psychiatric illness using medication such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety medications and more.

Psychotherapy

The treatment of mental disorders, emotional problems, and personality difficulties through talking with a therapist. There are dozens of different styles of psychotherapy, including psychoanalysis.

Purchasing Department Guiding Ethical Values

AltaPointe’s Purchasing Department is charged with managing the relationships with our vendors, assuring them of a full and fair hearing, and maintaining a level playing field with respect to bids, proposals, agreements and contracts.

The Purchasing Department staff are held to a high ethical standard in our relationships with all vendors of AltaPointe.  We believe it is important for you, as a prime trading partner, to understand our vendor policies regarding vendor relationships and our responsibility to enforce those policies.

In addition to being bound by the overall AltaPointe code of conduct and its guidance on gifts and amenities from vendors, Purchasing Department staff cannot accept gifts or amenities from vendors under any circumstances. Please ask your representatives who interact with the AltaPointe Purchasing Department not to offer any gifts or amenities of any value and to avoid placing any of our staff in any situation that could affect their employment with AltaPointe.

Purchasing Department Mission

As a department of Finance & Accounting, the Purchasing Department will provide procurement expertise to assure the timely acquisition and distribution of goods and services for the continuum in accordance with policies and procedures established by AltaPointe Health Systems, Inc. We are committed to working with all departments of the company to identify, develop, and implement procurement practices that will find the right products and services to meet the support needs of AltaPointe.

Purchasing Department Policies

Contracting Policy

  • Relationships with vendors are managed only through the Purchasing Department.
  • Contract/agreement negotiations are only conducted by the Purchasing Department.
  • No disbursements will be issued without the approval of the Purchasing Department through properly executed Purchase Orders issued prior to the delivery of goods or the performance of services.
  • AltaPointe divisions, programs and locations will obtain the appropriate departmental authorization and contact the Purchasing Department prior to contacting vendors.
  • Contract signing authority is limited to the designated AltaPointe Corporate Officers only.
  • Vendors will adhere to AltaPointe terms & conditions. Any exceptions will need to be reviewed and may promote delays.

Price Parity Policy

  • Vendors will provide pricing consistency across all AltaPointe divisions, programs and locations.
  • Contracts facilitated by the Purchasing Department are applicable to all AltaPointe divisions, programs and locations.

Routine Order Form Policy

  • The Purchasing Department is solely responsible for the addition, deletion, or changes to items on the routine order forms for office and janitorial supplies.
  • The Purchasing Department will not add items where acceptable alternatives are currently in the AltaPointe Purchasing Department order guides.
  • The Purchasing Department will not add items without the additional approval of the upper leadership when additional costs will be incurred.

Vendor Access Policy

  • All vendors must follow each AltaPointe divisions, programs and locations; local access plan, which may include being escorted by AltaPointe staff.
  • Local access plans should include a requirement for the vendor to stipulate the purpose of the visit and whether an advance appointment has been made.
  • The AltaPointe Purchasing Department will assist managers of divisions, programs and locations to insure compliance with their vendor access plans.

No PO – No Pay Policy

  • To ensure AltaPointe pay only for goods and services which have been properly ordered and authorized, invoices must contain a valid PO number for non-routine purchases.
  • The vendor will receive a Purchase Order number from the Purchasing Department prior to any commitment made.
  • Routine purchases for items such as office and janitorial supplies do not require a PO number.

Purchasing Department Vendor Application Process

Vendors who wish to do business with AltaPointe must follow the appropriate steps to be considered and approved. To expedite the process and insure fair practices, we ask vendors to adhere to the procedures. To begin the process, visit the Vendor Forms and Information page.

Recovery

There are several different definitions and uses of this term. In the addiction self-help recovery community, for example, this term refers to the achievement and maintenance of abstinence from alcohol, illicit drugs, and other substances (e.g., tobacco) or activities (e.g., gambling) to which the person has become addicted, vigilance and resolve in the face of an ongoing vulnerability to relapse, and pursuit of a clean and sober lifestyle.

In mental health there are several other forms of recovery. For those fortunate people, for example, who have only one episode of mental illness and then return to their previous functioning with little, if any, residual impairment, the usual sense of recovery used in primary care is probably the most relevant. That is, such people recover from an episode of psychosis or depression in ways that are more similar to, rather than different from, recovery from other acute conditions.

Persons who recover from an episode of major affective disorder or psychosis, but who continue to view themselves as vulnerable to future episodes, may instead consider themselves to be “in recovery” in ways that are more similar to, rather than different from, being in recovery from a heart attack or chronic medical condition. In this case, recovery may take place in the presence of an enduring illness or condition, rather than following on its absence. Many others will recover from serious mental illness over a longer period, after perhaps 15 or more years of disability, constituting an additional sense of recovery found in some other medical conditions such as asthma. More extended periods of disability are often associated with concerns about the effects and side effects of having been labeled with a mental illness as well as with the illness itself, leading some people to consider themselves to be in recovery also from the trauma of having been treated as mental patients.

Finally, those people who view taking control of their illness and minimizing its disruptive impact on their lives as the major concentration of their efforts might find the sense of recovery used in the addiction self-help community to be most compatible with their own experiences. Such a sense of recovery has been embraced, for instance, among some people who suffer from co-occurring psychiatric and addictive disorders who consider themselves to be in “dual recovery.”

For purposes of simplicity and clarity, the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has adopted the following single definition to capture the common elements of these various forms of recovery:

“Recovery involves a process of restoring or developing a meaningful sense of belonging and positive sense of identity apart from one’s condition while rebuilding a life despite or within the limitations imposed by that condition.” [more…]

Resilience

Manifested competence in the context of significant challenges to adaptation or development

Schizophrenia

A mental disorder lasting for at least six months, including at least one month with two or more active-phase symptoms. Active-phase symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior. Schizophrenia is accompanied by marked impairment in social or occupational functioning. . [more…]

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia, a disease of the brain, is one of the most disabling and emotionally devastating illnesses known to man. But, because it has been misunderstood for so long, it has received relatively little attention and its victims have been undeservingly stigmatized. Schizophrenia is not a split personality, which is a rare and very different disorder.
Like cancer and diabetes, schizophrenia has a biological basis; it is not caused by bad parenting or personal weakness. Nor are individuals being treated for schizophrenia more prone to violence than the public, despite media focus on exceptions.
Schizophrenia is, in fact, a relatively common disease, with an estimated one percent of the U. S. population being diagnosed with it over the course of their lives. While there is no known cure for schizophrenia, it is a very treatable disease. Most of those afflicted by schizophrenia respond to drug therapy, and many are able to lead productive and fulfilling lives.

Symptoms

Schizophrenia is characterized by a constellation of distinctive and predictable symptoms. The symptoms that are most commonly associated with the disease are called positive symptoms that denote the presence of grossly abnormal behavior. These include thought disorder, delusions, and hallucinations.
Thought disorder is the diminished ability to think clearly and logically. Often it is manifested by disconnected and nonsensical language that renders the person with schizophrenia incapable of participating in conversation, contributing to his alienation from his family, friends, and society.
Delusions are common among individuals with schizophrenia. An affected person may believe that he is being conspired against (called “paranoid delusion”). “Broadcasting” describes a type of delusion in which the individual with this illness believes that others can hear his thoughts.
Hallucinations can be heard, seen, or even felt; most often, they take the form of voices heard only by the afflicted person. Such voices may describe the person’s actions, warn him of danger or tell him what to do. At times, the individual may hear several voices carrying on a conversation.
The deficit or negative symptoms that represent the absence of normal behavior are less obvious than the “positive symptoms,” but equally serious. These include flat or blunted affect (i.e. lack of emotional expression), apathy, and social withdrawal.

Who gets it?

While schizophrenia can affect anyone at any point in life, it is somewhat more common in those persons who are genetically predisposed to the disease. The first psychotic episode generally occurs in late adolescence or early adulthood.
Studies have shown that some individuals with schizophrenia recover completely, and many others improve to the point where they can live independently, often with the maintenance of drug therapy. Fortunately, this accounts for the majority of cases.

However, approximately 15 percent of people with schizophrenia respond only moderately to medication and require support throughout their lives, while another 15 percent simply do not respond to existing treatment. New therapies may offer hope for the treatment of these most seriously affected sufferers.

How is it treated?

Hospitalization is often necessary in cases of acute schizophrenia. This ensures the safety of the affected person. Once the most troubling symptoms are controlled by medication, the person often does not require hospitalization.
Depending on the seriousness of the disease, the person may utilize day programs, rehabilitation facilities, and be treated in an outpatient setting. This allows the psychiatrist to adjust medication dosages as necessary over the course of the disease. The person may also need assistance in readjusting to society once his or her symptoms are controlled.
Supportive counseling or psychotherapy may be appropriate for these individuals as a source of friendship, encouragement, and practical advice during this process. Relatives and friends also can assist in rebuilding the person’s social skills. Such support is very important.

Antipsychotic Medications

Antipsychotic drugs are used in the treatment of schizophrenia. These medications help relieve the delusions, hallucinations, and thinking problems associated with this devastating disorder. These drugs appear to work by correcting an imbalance in the chemicals that help brain cells communicate with each other. As with drug treatments for other physical illnesses, many patients with severe mental illnesses may need to try several different antipsychotic medications before they find the one, or the combination of medications, that works best for them.

Possible Antipsychotic Medication Side Effects:

As a group, antipsychotic drugs are safe, and serious side effects are relatively rate. Some people may experience side effects that are inconvenient or unpleasant, but not serious.

Most common side effects: dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, and drowsiness.

Less common side effects: decreased sexual desire, menstrual changes, and stiff muscles on one side of the neck and jaw.

More serious side effects include: restlessness, muscle stiffness, slurred speech, tremors of the hands or feet, and agranulocytosis, which suppresses the production of white blood cells (when taking clozapine) and requires monitoring.

Tardive Dyskinesia is the most unpleasant and serious side effect of antipsychotic drugs causing involuntary facial movements and sometimes jerking or twisting movements of other parts of the body. This condition usually develops in older patients, affecting 15 percent to 20 percent of those who have taken older antipsychotic drugs for years.

Screening for mental health problems

A brief formal or informal assessment to identify persons who have mental health problems or are likely to develop such problems. The screening process helps determine whether a person has a problem and, if so, the most appropriate mental health services for that person.

Serious emotional disturbance (SED)

A diagnosable mental disorder found in persons from birth to age 18 years that is so severe and long lasting that it seriously interferes with functioning in family, school, community, or other major life activities.

Serious mental illness (SMI)

A diagnosable mental disorder found in persons aged 18 years and older that is so long lasting and severe that it seriously interferes with a person’s ability to take part in major life activities.

Signs/Symptoms an Individual is in Crisis

There are a number of signs and symptoms that may point to an impending crisis for an individual living with a mental illness. The following list includes some behaviors that may indicate the need to ask for help when exhibited:

  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Argumentative
  • Anxious
  • Bizarre behavior
  • Crying
  • Danger to others
  • Danger to self
  • Depressed
  • Erratic behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Homicidal thoughts
  • Impulsivity
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Not eating
  • Not sleeping
  • Not taking medications
  • Becomes isolated
  • Paranoid/fearful
  • Restlessness
  • Self-injury/harm
  • Sleeping too much
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Verbal aggression
  • Wandering

Staff Training

AltaPointe specially trains all direct-care staff in the prevention and management of aggressive behavior and crisis intervention. Staff members receive training and gain required experience to work with specialized populations.

Substance Abuse and Addiction

Addiction is a serious illness. Health, finances, relationships, careers—all can be ruined. The abuse of drugs and alcohol is by far the leading cause of preventable illnesses and premature death in our society. The importance of substance abuse treatment cannot be overstated, and fortunately many effective treatments are available. The road to recovery, however, begins with recognition.

Consequences of use

Alcohol

People often drink alcohol during social occasions; it tends to loosen inhibitions. Unfortunately, the recklessness often resulting from excessive drinking is a leading cause of serious injuries and accidental deaths. In addition, alcohol is the most common cause of preventable birth defects, including fetal alcohol syndrome. Of course, excessive drinking can also lead to alcoholism; an illness that tends to run in families and is often associated with depression. Alcoholism can have devastating effects on health, including serious liver damage, greater risk of heart disease, impotence, infertility, and premature aging.

Marijuana

The most widespread and frequently used illicit drug is marijuana. It is associated with the following consequences:

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Difficulty with concentrating and information processing
  • Lapses in judgment
  • Problems with perception and motor skills

 

In addition, years of marijuana use can lead to a loss of ambition and an inability to carry out long-term plans or to function effectively.

Stimulants

Stimulants (for example, cocaine, “crack,” amphetamines) give a temporary illusion of enhanced power and energy. As the initial elevation of mood fades, however, a depression emerges. Stimulant abuse can lead to serious medical problems.

  • Heart attacks—even in young people with healthy hearts
  • Seizures
  • Strokes
  • Violent, erratic, anxious, or paranoid behavior

 

Cocaine use during pregnancy may result in miscarriages, stillbirths, or low-birth-weight babies who may be physically dependent on the drug and later may develop behavioral or learning difficulties. Excessive crack use can lead to a permanent vegetative, or zombie-like, state. Long-term amphetamine abuse can result in psychotic effects, such as paranoid delusions and hallucinations.

Heroin

Heroin, which can be smoked, eaten, sniffed, or injected, produces an intense—but fleeting—feeling of pleasure. Serious withdrawal symptoms begin, however, after 4 to 6 hours:

  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Runny nose and eyes
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Muscle pains
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

 

Heroin use during pregnancy may result in miscarriages, stillbirths, or premature deliveries of babies born physically dependent on the drug. Those who inject heroin are introducing unsterile substances into their bloodstream, which can result in severe damage to the heart, lungs, and brain. In addition, sharing needles is one of the fastest ways to spread diseases; it is currently the leading cause of all new HIV and hepatitis B cases.

Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens are drugs such as LDS (“acid”) or the new “designer” drugs (for example, “ecstasy”) that are taken orally and cause hallucinations and feelings of euphoria. Dangers from LDS include stressful “flashbacks”—re-experiencing the hallucinations despite not having taken the drug again, sometimes even years later. Excessive use of ecstasy, combined with strenuous physical activity, can lead to death from dehydration or an exceptionally high fever.

Inhalants

Inhalants are breathable chemicals—for example, glue, paint thinner, or lighter fluid. They are commonly abused by teenagers because they are easy to obtain and because they produce mind-altering effects when “sniffed” or “huffed.” These chemicals reach the lungs and bloodstream very quickly and can be deadly. High concentrations of inhalant fumes can cause heart failure or suffocation. Long-term abuse of inhalants can cause permanent damage to the nervous system.

Sedatives

Sedatives are highly effective medications prescribed by physicians to relieve anxiety and to promote sleep. Unfortunately, harmful effects can occur when they are taken in excess of the prescribed dose or without a physician’s supervision, such as when they are obtained illegally. Combining sedatives with alcohol or other drugs greatly increases the likelihood of death by overdose. Women who abuse sedatives during pregnancy may deliver babies with birth defects (for example, cleft palate) who may also be physically dependent on the drugs.

Nicotine

The U. S. Surgeon General has confirmed that nicotine in tobacco products has additive properties similar in severity to those of heroin. Quitting is difficult because of the unpleasantness of withdrawal, which involved feelings of irritability, frustration, anger, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. However, continued smoking may lead to far more dire circumstances:

  • Lung cancer
  • Heat attacks
  • Emphysema
  • High blood pressure
  • Ulcers

Treatment

The first step on the road to recovery is recognition of the problem, but often this process is complicated by a lack of understanding about substance abuse and addiction or, worse, denial. In these cases, what often prompts treatment are interventions by concerned friends and family. Many health centers and other institutions offer screenings free of charge for various disorders throughout the year. For example, screening tests for alcohol abuse are usually offered in early April.
Because substance abuse affects many aspects of a person’s life, multiple forms of treatment are often required. For most, a combination of medication and individual or group therapy is most effective. Medications are used to control the drug cravings and relieve the severe symptoms of withdrawal. Therapy can help addicted individuals understand their behavior and motivations, develop higher self-esteem, and cope with stress. Other treatment methods that may be used as part of the rehabilitation process include the following:

  • Hospitalization
  • Therapeutic communities—highly controlled, drug-free environments
  • Outpatient programs, including methadone maintenance for heroin addiction

 

Finally, in addition to treatment, self-help groups for substance-abusing individuals (Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous) as well as their family members (Al-Anon or Nara-Anon Family Groups) are useful in providing support and reinforcing messages learned in treatment. These organizations can be found on the Internet of in your local telephone directory.

 

Substance Abuse and Addiction

Addiction is a serious illness. Health, finances, relationships, careers—all can be ruined. The abuse of drugs and alcohol is by far the leading cause of preventable illnesses and premature death in our society. The importance of substance abuse treatment cannot be overstated, and fortunately many effective treatments are available. The road to recovery, however, begins with recognition. [more…]

Survey shows patients are pleased with delivery of care

Data collected by AltaPointe Health’s performance improvement department shows patients are pleased with the care they receive.

AltaPointe, Alabama’s largest psychiatric and behavioral healthcare system holds its employees to a standard in which they provide five-star customer care; delivering services in a way that is compassionate, accountable, respectful and encouraging. To ensure that all AltaPointe patients are well taken care of and that they are receiving the best care possible, all patients are encouraged to complete performance improvement surveys.

“We are proud of the work accomplished within our facilities. The results from 2017 performance improvement surveys show us that patients of AltaPointe Health are pleased with the care they are receiving and the employees who are delivering that care,” Sherill Alexander, performance improvement director, said.

The overall general satisfaction results showed patients were pleased with: 94 percent for Adult Outpatient Services, 98 percent for Family Perception of Care for the Child/Adolescent Services, 87 percent for Adult Inpatient, 93 percent for Child/Adolescent Inpatient Services and 94 percent for Adult Residential Services. The results shined a positive light on AltaPointe staff as they entered a new year with more opportunity to provide excellent care to patients.

The surveys also provided useful feedback that will aid in the consistent growth and progress that comes with each new patient served. AltaPointe employees are looking toward the future and are excited about the changes being made to better what AltaPointe has to offer in services and care. Alexander explains, “We strive to find areas where we need improvement. The safety and care of our patients is our number one priority. Anything we can do to better the lives of people living with mental illness, we will do.”

AltaPointe Health is based in Mobile, Ala., and offers services to residents of Mobile, Baldwin, and Washington counties as well as individuals living along the northern Gulf Coast. AltaPointe expanded its service area in 2016 with the merger of Cheaha Regional Mental Health Center. Based in Sylacauga, the center serves residents living in Clay, Coosa, Randolph and Talladega counties in east-central Alabama.

AltaPointe employs 1,450 people and provides inpatient, outpatient, and residential healthcare services to more than 30,000 individuals annually. AltaPointe’s physicians provide psychiatric consultation services at four acute care hospitals in the Mobile area.

Visit www.altapointe.org for more information.

The AltaPointe Shining Star Hall of Fame

Each year one of the stars of the year is chosen as “AltaPointe’s Shining Star”, it’s our equivalent of an employee of the year. The following staff members have received that highest praise and make up the AltaPointe Shining Star Hall of Fame.

Fairlie Schreiber, AltaPointe 2010 Star of the Year

Fay-SchreiberThe first AltaPraise Shining Star of the year was Fairlie “Fay” Schreiber, an AltaPointe Adult Outpatient Services Therapist. Schreiber received the honor in 2010. She has been with AltaPointe for more than three decades.

“Fay is absolutely the hallmark of what a social worker is meant to be,” Julie Bellcase, AltaPointe Chief of Staff, said. “She exemplifies how a patient should be treated.”

 

 

Cynthia Foster, AltaPointe 2011 Star of the Year

Cynthia-FosterAltaPointe’s Shining Star for 2011 was Cynthia Foster, case manager in AltaPointe Adult Outpatient Services. Foster oversees individuals living in semi-independent settings and is described as the life support for her consumers.

Megan Griggs, AltaPointe Adult Outpatient Director, said, “So many of her consumers have little or no family nearby, and they rely completely on Cynthia. She does an amazing job keeping them as healthy as possible.”

 

Cella Walker, AltaPointe 2012 Star of the Year

Cella-Walker_0092AltaPointe’s Shining Star for 2012 was Cella Walker, AltaPointe Performance
Improvement Consumer Needs Specialist. Walker is described as the epitome of customer service, who exudes a calm, cool and collected demeanor.

“She is a champion advocate,” Sherill Alexander, PI director, said. “She ensures that our consumers’ and caretakers’ feedback is heard and considered. She is a pleasure to work with.”

 

 

Roylyn Chaney, AltaPointe 2013 Star of the Year

Roylyn-foliage-backdropRoylyn Chaney is always on the move. The facilities manager for both EastPointe and BayPointe Children’s Hospital, he really goes the distance to deliver Five-Star Customer Service. Chaney is praised for seeking out vendors that will help reduce costs to the hospitals, and provides support when emergencies occur.

“Roylyn is a great representative of our department. He does everything with a smile on his face and without question. If something can’t be done he will tell you and tell you other ways to fix the problem,” Robert Carlock, AltaPointe Environment of Care director.

Treatment Teams

In addition to a psychiatrist and depending on the needs of the individual patient and the services offered by any particular inpatient or outpatient program, treatment teams may include social workers, licensed professional counselors, case managers, educational coordinators, discharge planners, recreational therapists and behavioral staff.

Tuerk Schlesinger, AltaPointe Health CEO, calls for greater focus on mental health funding

It’s official: A generation of young Americans has never known a world without periodic mass shootings that kill innocent people, including children. From the shooting at Colorado’s Columbine High School, in which 12 students and one teacher were murdered in 1999, to the recent one in Parkland, Fla., where 14 students and three teachers died at Stoneman Douglas High School, they have raised questions about the treatment of mental illness in our country.

With every horrific act, questions immediately emerge about access to guns and the perpetrator’s mental health. Setting aside the issue of guns themselves, I choose to focus on the subject about which we at AltaPointe Health know considerably more: mental illness and the inadequately funded system attempting to treat the disease.

The conclusion that politicians, news media and members of society often make as they attempt to explain these atrocities is that surely these “shooters” must be mentally ill. And indeed, the unfortunate truth often is that the perpetrators have undiagnosed or untreated mental illnesses. Each case is unique and complex, however, and it generally is not clear how these criminal acts could have been prevented.

The larger questions always should be: What do we know, and what can be done about the societal dilemma related to mental illness and preventing these kinds of crimes?

For starters, consider the 2016 report titled “Mass Shootings and Mental Illness, written by two professors of psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, N.Y., in which James L. Knoll IV, M.D., and George Annas, M.D., concluded that mass shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1% of all yearly gun-related homicides.

Additionally, we know the mentally ill are more likely than the average person to be the victims of violent crime rather than the perpetrators. Moreover, we know that the stigma of mental illness can keep people away from treatment and that the stigma could be reduced by education about the disease.

We also understand that with appropriate diagnosis, treatment, and compliance with prescribed medications, most people with mental illness can achieve recovery. And, lastly, we know that a greater investment of federal, state and local money to fund mental health services and psychiatric medical education is needed.

As for what can be done, we can start with our elected leaders in Washington. The depressing reality is that after a mass murder and the accompanying flurry of media coverage, little or nothing happens. The difference this time is that there seems to be an urgency to find solutions. Is there hope that positive action will take place, laws will change and funding will increase where it’s most needed?

Congress seems to have a little steam behind it now, pushing it to pass legislation that would take the funding of school security and mental health services more seriously. For example, school systems appear to need help to make campuses more secure; and states could steer grant money to local mental health agencies, which could partner with school systems to place mental health professionals in individual schools.

Society in general, and people living with serious mental illness would benefit greatly.

Altapointe’s job is to provide behavioral healthcare. Our organization – and similar organizations state and nationwide — must pinch pennies and be highly innovative just to be able to deliver that care. We need action at the national level. Our leaders must pay attention to the enormous and never-ending need to provide humane and effective treatment to those who live with mental illness.

You can help by becoming informed and then encouraging your representatives and senators to increase funding and improve the mental health system. By doing so, we may be able to stem the tide of crimes so often attributed to individuals with mental illness.

 

Ukeru making an impact at BayPointe Hospital

­

(Mobile, Ala.) – Children at BayPointe Hospital can take out their aggression in a healthy way thanks to a program called Ukeru, a restraint-free crisis management technique.

BayPointe has been using the program for three years, and the results show its working.

“We have been able to reduce the number of restraints in our day treatment program by 39 percent this year,” Nicolette Harvey, Assistant Director at BayPointe, said. Harvey says one patient always comes to mind when she thinks about the impact Ukeru has made.

“This child struggled to cope with his aggression. The first day we introduced the Ukeru pad, four employees spent 30 minutes allowing him to take his frustration out on the pads, not himself, his peers, or staff.  In the end, the child was calm and able to return to class.”

The employees at BayPointe have experienced the positive effects of coupling Ukeru with practicing Trauma-Informed Care (TIC). TIC involves understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma.

Donald McGraw, BayPointe Hospital Milieu manager, says TIC and Ukeru interventions work.

“In our program, we experience many situations where patients threaten to and actively engage in aggressive behavior,” McGraw shared.  “I can recall one situation, in particular, involving a young patient attempting to hurt himself by kicking, punching, and banging his head against walls; he also charged at staff.”

McGraw says using the TIC training and Ukeru pads, BayPointe staff was equipped to protect the patient and allow him to safely cope with his aggression while maintaining his respect, dignity, and positive relationship with hospital employees.

“We used the blocking pads to absorb the blows while protecting the patients’ body from self-harm,” McGraw said. “These crisis resolution tools were helpful on many therapeutic levels. It is all about the positive relationship and strengthening of our staff’s ability to resolve and or eliminate restraint or seclusion.”

BayPointe Hospital is a free-standing children’s psychiatric hospital treating patients 5 to 18 years of age affected by a variety of psychiatric and behavioral disorders. Jarrett Crum, BayPointe Hospital administrator, says it receives referrals for children in need of acute stabilization from all across the state and along the gulf coast region.

“We have enhanced our focus on family engagement, medication management and utilization of community resources to promote longer term recovery for children,” Crum said.   “This past year we also expanded services by adding additional classroom space to accommodate children in need of day treatment for the Saraland, Chickasaw and Satsuma school districts. Ukeru is a program that benefits all of these children, and promotes recovery.”

To learn more visit our website at http://www.baypointehospital.org

Underfunded mental health system requires urgent action

Ways to Avoid a Crisis

It is important to know how to avoid a crisis whenever possible. The following list of actions can help you remain stable:

  • Take your medications as prescribed
  • Tell the staff members of any symptoms or side effects
  • Keep all scheduled appointments
  • Identify and avoid lifestyle activities that may increase symptoms
  • Learn and use coping skills that work.
  • Go to the doctor when you are sick and for check-ups
  • Develop your spiritual life
  • Make and invest in friends or a support group
  • Develop a relapse-prevention plan with your treatment team

Ways to Avoid a Crisis

It is important to know how to avoid a crisis whenever possible. The following list of actions can help you remain stable:

  • Take your medications as prescribed
  • Tell the staff members of any symptoms or side effects
  • Keep all scheduled appointments
  • Identify and avoid lifestyle activities that may increase symptoms
  • Learn and use coping skills that work.
  • Go to the doctor when you are sick and for check-ups
  • Develop your spiritual life
  • Make and invest in friends or a support group
  • Develop a relapse-prevention plan with your treatment team

What are the benefits to employees?

  • Offers debriefing sessions for crisis intervention and coping with workplace violence, death or accident
  • Assists employees with work performance issues such as: drug or alcohol problems, other health issues, anger management, marital, family, employee, or supervisor conflicts
  • Provides consultation with supervisors/managers regarding managing problem employees
  • Offers U.S. Department of Transportation-approved Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) Assessment at an additional cost

What are the benefits to employers?

  • Lowers employee absenteeism
  • Reduces labor grievances
  • Helps retain good, productive employees
  • Reduces dollar cost per day by helping employees return to work quickly

What are the payment procedures at BayView?

  • A 24-hour cancellation notice (72-hours for psych testing)  is required if you cannot make your scheduled appointment.
  • A fee will be charged if BayView does not receive a 24-hour appointment cancellation notice (72-hours for psych testing.)
  • Patients must remit all copays, no-show fees and account balances (including required deductibles) at the time of service.
  • BayView expects your account to be settled when you arrive for your appointment, otherwise, you will need to reschedule your appointment.

What Are the Symptoms of Mental Illness in Children?

Children’s symptoms vary depending on the type of mental illness, but some of the general symptoms include:

  • Changes in school performance, such as poor grades despite good efforts
  • Abuse of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Inability to cope with daily problems and activities
  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
  • Excessive complaints of physical ailments
  • Defying authority, skipping school, stealing, or damaging property
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Long-lasting negative moods, often accompanied by poor appetite and thoughts of death
  • Frequent outbursts of anger
  • Loss of interest in friends and activities they usually enjoy
  • Significant increase in time spent alone
  • Excessive worrying or anxiety
  • Hyperactivity
  • Persistent nightmares or night terrors
  • Persistent disobedience or aggressive behavior
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Hearing voices or seeing things that are not there (hallucinations)

What can I expect when I call?

Our CarePointe specialists speak directly with you over the phone to determine how they can help you. If after answering a number of questions it is determined that you, your loved one or friend would benefit from another provider or other community agency, AltaPointe will assist you by providing the appropriate referral information.

New callers are asked to supply the following information:

  • Caller’s Name (and/or name of individual in need of services)
  • Date of Birth
  • Home Address
  • Insurance Information
  • Social Security Number

So that each caller seeking care receives the best possible service, the CarePointe specialist answering your call may ask questions such as the following:

  • Have you ever been a patient at AltaPointe?
  • Describe your current signs/symptoms.
  • Have you ever had or do you have current thoughts about harming yourself or others?
  • Are there any legal issues that we should be aware of or for which you are seeking assistance?
  • Is your alcohol and/or drug use a concern?
  • Have you had previous behavioral health counseling or treatment?
  • Do you ever see or hear things that others don’t hear or see?

What do Mental Health First Aid training participants learn?

Just as CPR training helps a layperson with no clinical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps a layperson assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis, such as contemplating suicide. In both situations, the goal is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives. Mental Health First Aiders learn a single 5-step strategy that includes assessing risk, respectfully listening to and supporting the individual in crisis, and identifying appropriate professional help and other supports. Participants are also introduced to risk factors and warning signs for mental health or substance use problems, engage in experiential activities that build understanding of the impact of illness on individuals and families; and learn about evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies.

What does AltaPointe’s benefits package include?

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Cancer Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Short-term and Long-term Disability Insurance
  • Cafeteria/Section 125 Plan
  • Life Insurance
  • Personal Time Off and Paid Holidays
  • Principal 403(b) Retirement Plan
  • Licensure Supervision for LPC and LCSW

What happens if my company is unable to agree with these policies?

These policies are closely aligned with AltaPointe’s core values and mission.  It is important that our vendors have a clear understanding of our values and share in the delivery of our mission. Your compliance with these processes and policies will define your role in the AltaPointe Purchasing Department network.

What if I need directions to the office?

Patients visiting AltaPointe or one of its hospitals for the first time may need written directions to their appointment destination. We have provided a complete list of offices and hospitals with addresses, written driving directions and a map for the convenience of our patients and their caregivers or family members.

Corporate Offices
Hospitals
Outpatient

What if I still have a question concerning the purchasing practices at AltaPointe Health?

Our intention is for all interactions with our vendors to be fully transparent. While we have provided clear guidelines, questions may arise.  If you have any questions about these policies and guidelines, email Purchasing@AltaPointe.org.

What if my customer states they are an approved contract signer?

Please refer to AltaPointe Purchasing Department’s Contracting Policy

What information is required on the AltaPraise?

An “AltaPraise” should include details of specific and exceptional customer service performed by an AltaPointe team. This service should exceed the expectations set forth in the 5SCC Standards of CARE. Only completed AltaPraise forms can be accepted.

The AltaPraise should describe how the AltaPointe group demonstrated at least one of the 5SCC Standard of CARE attributes that include being compassionate, accountable, respectful and encouraging. The Office of Public Relations processes each AltaPraise and makes sure the group being praised receives their AltaPraise.

In 2010, AltaPointe began a tradition. Each year, the Five -Star Committee and the administration review all of the previous year’s AltaPraise submissions to select employees that have shown exceptional service. At the Annual Meeting, those chosen employees receive special recognition as Stars of the Year with one being named Shining Star of the Year.

What information will I need to supply?

  • Caller’s Name (and/or name of individual in need of services)
  • Date of Birth
  • Home Address
  • Insurance Information
  • Social Security Number

What insurance covers BayView services?

Most BayView providers are in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Health Care, Aetna, Cigna, Humana/LifeSync, Value Options (Beach Health), Medicare, Healthsprings, Tricare, American Behavioral, and many national EAP carriers.

Also located in Mobile’s BayView office building is Montlimar Outpatient Services, a program primarily dedicated to adults in Mobile County insured by the Alabama Public Education Employees’ Health Insurance Plan (PEEHIP).

Certain insurance plans limit their coverages to particular credentials. Please check with your insurance company for specific coverages on your plan.

All copayments and deductibles are due at the time of service according to your health insurance plan’s allowable amounts. We require full payment at the time of service when a health insurance plan does not consider BayView “in-network.”

What is a supervisor’s role with BayView EAP?

When a supervisor sees that an employee has problems that continue and do not improve, the supervisor might consider dismissing such an employee. If the company has contracted for an EAP with BayView, supervisors could refer troubled employees for confidential assessment and short-term counseling instead of resorting to termination. Employers should encourage supervisors to refer employees to the EAP when personal issues begin to affect them negatively. This way the company can assist the employee and hopefully retain a valuable worker.

What is AltaPraise?

AltaPointe values staff members who display exceptional customer service. It established the AltaPraise Rewards & Recognition program to demonstrate to these staff members how important they are to the success of this organization.

What is different about Youth MHFA?

Youth Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents and the importance of early intervention. The ultimate goal is to teaching individuals how to help a youth in crisis. Mental Health First Aid USA worked with experts at the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health at the Georgetown University for Child and Human Development to develop the training.

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour training course designed to give members of the public key skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it does build mental health literacy, helping the public identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness.

What payment methods are accepted?

BayView accepts cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

What questions might I be asked?

  • Have you ever been a patient at AltaPointe?
  • Describe your current signs/symptoms.
  • Are you able to sleep? Is your sleep affected?
  • Have you had an increase or decrease in appetite?
  • Do you believe you are a danger to yourself?
  • Do you believe you are a danger to others?
  • Do you have any risk factors? (Click to view)
    Risk factors may include:
    ­    Hallucinations
    ­    Delusions
    ­    Paranoia
    ­    Family history of substance abuse/mental Illness
    ­    No support system
  • Do you have any involvement with the police or courts?
  • Do you have any medical problems?
  • Are you experiencing any physical or sexual abuse?
  • Do you believe you may have a substance abuse problem?
  • Have you had previous behavioral health counseling or treatment?

What services are designed for business owners and their employees?

Services offered through BayView include:

  • Screening
  • Assessment
  • Brief solution-focused counseling
  • Crisis intervention
  • Critical incident stress debriefing

What services are offered through BayView?

  • Individual counseling
  • Play therapy
  • Group counseling
  • Family counseling
  • Marital counseling
  • Crisis intervention
  • DOT required SAP assessments
  • Psychiatric services
  • Medication management
  • Substance abuse services
  • Parent education
  • Psychological testing

BayView also offers services designed for business owners

BayView also offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) by which employers may contract for specified services with BayView. An EAP is a counseling service free to employees and their eligible dependents who may be experiencing personal or workplace problems.

What should I bring to my appointment?

Because we want your experience with AltaPointe to be the best and most beneficial, you should be prepared to bring the following documents with you to your appointment:

  • Photo ID
  • Proof of insurance
  • If you are uninsured, bring a $25 fee, proof of income, and proof of residency.
  • Medications and medication list
  • Court papers or power of attorney documentation, if applicable
  • Birth certificate (for children entering BayPointe)

 

What should I bring to my first appointment?

Because we want your experience with AltaPointe to be the best and most beneficial, please complete the Pre-Intake form and bring it with you. You also may be asked to provide or bring the following documents to your appointment:

  • Proof of insurance
  • Proof of residency
  • Medications and medication list
  • Court papers or power of attorney document, if needed
  • Your photo ID (driver’s license, passport, or other government issued ID)
  • Your Insurance Card(s)
  • Your copay and/or deductible amount in full
  • Pre-Intake Form (please complete and bring with you to your first appointment)

What should I do if I am in a crisis?

If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1. If you are in a psychiatric crisis situation that is not life-threatening, call CarePointe at (251) 450-2211.

What should I expect when I call?

A CarePointe specialist will conduct an assessment and screening over the phone. Subsequent appointments may be made at the BayView Professional Associates’ office where you receive your care.

If after answering a number of questions it is determined that you, your loved one or friend would benefit from another provider or other community agency, AltaPointe will assist you by making the appropriate referral in the community.

What to do if you have a problem:

  • If you have a problem with something that happens to you while you are here, tell a grown up right away. Your parents can do this for you, too. Our Consumer Needs Specialist will listen to you and talk with you about the problem. She also may talk to your parents. It is her job to try to find a way to fix the problem. She will tell you about her ideas in about 10 days from the first time you meet her.
  • If you don’t like what she says or her ideas, you can ask the Consumer Needs Committee for help. This group of AltaPointe staff members and one patient will try to come up with other ideas. They will let you know their ideas in about 10 days from the time you meet them.
  • If you don’t like their ideas or what they say to you, you can ask our Chief Executive Officer or other designated administrator for help. You will hear what he thinks in about 30 days.

What will Youth MHFA participants learn?

The course teaches participants the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adolescents, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, AD/HD, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance abuse disorder. Participants do not learn to diagnose, nor do they learn how to provide any therapy or counseling. Rather, participants learn a core, five-step action plan to support an adolescent in crisis. The action plan includes the following steps:

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen non-judgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

When can I make deliveries or appointments?

Refer to the General Guidelines for Vendor Conduct to better understand AltaPointe policies. If you have any questions about these policies and guidelines, email Purchasing@AltaPointe.org

When you are a patient at AltaPointe you have the right to:

  • Be treated with respect, dignity and privacy.
  • Be treated in a safe and humane place.
  • Know the facts about your care, which has been designed just for you.
  • Know the facts about your medicine.
  • Be told where to get help if you have pain or other medical problems.
  • Get help from others.
  • Give your written consent for treatment.

When you are a patient at AltaPointe you have the right to:

  • Be treated with respect, dignity and privacy.
  • Be treated in a safe and humane place.
  • Know the facts about your care, which has been designed just for you and is responsive to and respectful of your unique characteristics, needs and abilities.
  • Be told where to get help if you have pain or other medical problems.
  • Get help from others.
  • Be informed of all program rules and client responsibilities prior to initiation of care, and the consequences of non-compliance.
  • Provide input into the entity’s service delivery processes through client satisfaction surveys and other avenues provided by the governing body.
  • Receive services that are free of:

– Physical abuse
– Sexual abuse
– Harassment
– Physical punishment
– Psychological abuse, including humiliation
– Threats
– Exploitation
– Coercion
– Financial abuse

  • Report without fear of retribution, any instances of perceived abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
  • Privacy, both inside and outside the program setting.
  • Be informed of any potential restriction of rights that may be imposed.
  • Be informed of the parameters of confidentiality.
  • Be informed of client rights at the time of admission, both verbally and in writing.
  • Be informed of the person who has primary responsibility for your care.

 

When you are a patient at AltaPointe you have the right to:

  • Be treated with respect, dignity and privacy.
  • Be treated in a safe and humane place.
  • Know the facts about your care, which has been designed just for you.
  • Know the facts about your medicine.
  • Be told where to get help if you have pain or other medical problems.
  • Get help from others.
  • Give your written consent for treatment.

When you are a patient at AltaPointe, you have the right to:

  • Be treated with respect.
  • Be treated in a safe place.
  • Know how we will help you.
  • Get help from others, like your priest, pastor, preacher, or rabbi.

When you are a patient at BayPointe, you have the right to:

  • Be treated with respect.
  • Be treated in a safe place.
  • Know how we will help you.
  • Get help from others, like your priest, pastor, preacher, or rabbi.

Where did Mental Health First Aid start?

Mental Health First Aid was created in Australia in 2001 by Professor Tony Jorm, a respected mental health literacy professor, and Betty Kitchener, a nurse specializing in health education. The program is auspiced at the ORYGEN Research Center at the University of Melbourne, Australia. (www.mhfa.com.au)

Who are the decision-makers for my company’s product?

The Purchasing Department will consult with our divisions, programs and locations to ensure we have high quality cost-effective products.  However, the contracting and pricing discussions rest with AltaPointe Purchasing Department and upper leadership within Finance & Accounting.

Who benefits from BayView’s services?

BayView’s services benefit individuals and families dealing with emotional or psychological issues that interfere with their ability to function in day-to-day living. Our professional staff conduct a comprehensive assessment, develop a customized plan of care and make referrals when appropriate. Your well-being is our priority.

Who do I contact if a customer’s requests may violate my organization’s or AltaPointe’s code of conduct?

Please refer to Guiding Ethical Values. If you still have questions or concerns, contact the Purchasing Department Manager or Director of Finance and Accounting.

Who may submit an AltaPraise?

AltaPraise, which means “highest praise,” encourages patients, family members, co-workers and all other customers to recognize an AltaPointe group for exceptional customer service by submitting an AltaPraise. Anyone may submit an AltaPraise.

Who should take a Mental Health First Aid course?

Mental Health First Aid is intended for a variety of audiences, such as:

  • friends and family of individuals with mental illness
  • mental health and social service professional
  • primary care professionals
  • school and college leadership, educators, personnel
  • employers and business leaders
  • faith communities
  • school and college leadership, educators, personnel
  • professionals such as police officers
  • human resource directors
  • nursing home staff members, and
  • members of the public

The training venues will also vary as Mental Health First Aid program sites reach out to Chambers of Commerce, professional associations, hospitals, nursing homes, Rotary Clubs, parent organizations, social clubs and other groups who make up the fabric of a community. The core program is tailored for response to the general adult population.

Who should take the Youth MHFA course?

The course is designed for adults who regularly interact with adolescents, such as, teachers, coaches, mentors, and juvenile justice professionals. In addition, the course may also be appropriate for older adolescents age 16 and older who may be able to encourage youth peer-to-peer interaction.

IMPORTANT: Youth Mental Health First Aid is not specifically designed for parents of youth with mental health challenges. Although parents and families may find the course content useful, the course provides a basic level of information and guidance, rather than more in-depth information on navigating the healthcare system, which parents may wish to explore.

Will discussions with the counselor be kept confidential?

Yes. We require our counselors and staff to maintain confidentiality. This is an ethical obligation we guarantee to all employees. Every counselor abides by this regulation. Written permission must be given before information can be shared.

You have duties too. You should:

Respect other people.

  •  Talk to our staff.
  • Not touch other people in the wrong way.
  • Not run away.
  • Not break things.
  • Take your medicine.
  • Follow the rules.
  • Join in activities.
  • Do your chores.
  • Not hurt other people or fight.

You have duties too. You should:

  • Respect other people.
  • Talk to our staff.
  • Not touch other people in the wrong way.
  • Not destroy AltaPointe property.
  • Take your medicine.
  • Follow the rules.
  • Join in activities.
  • Not hurt other people or fight.

You have duties too. You should:

  • Respect other people.
  • Talk to your staff.
  • Not touch other people in the wrong way.
  • Not run away.
  • Not break things.
  • Take your medicine.
  • Not hurt other people or fight.
  • Go to school.
  • Follow the rules.
  • Join in activities.
  • Do your chores.

Remember, your rights cannot be taken away from you without a very good reason.

You have duties too. You should:

  • Respect other people.
  • Talk to our staff.
  • Not touch other people in the wrong way.
  • Not run away.
  • Not break things.
  • Take your medicine.
  • Follow the rules.
  • Join in activities.
  • Do your chores.
  • Not hurt other people or fight.

Your health information rights

Although your medical record is the physical property of AltaPointe Health, the information belongs to you. You have the right to:

  • Request in writing a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information as provided by 45 CFR 164.522.
  • Request in writing to obtain a paper copy of your health record as provided for in 45 CFR 164.524.
  • Request in writing to amend your health record as provided in 45 CFR 164.526.
  • Obtain a paper copy of the notice of information practices upon request.
  • Request in writing to obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information as provided in 45 CFR 164.528.
  • Request in writing communication of your health information by alternative (other) means or at other locations.
  • Revoke in writing your authorization to use and disclose health information except to the extent that action has already been taken.