Catholic Charities of Fairfield County has enhanced its Medications Management program, also known as pharmacotherapy, to meet a growing need and better serve its clients with this critical aspect of mental health treatment.
“It is so much more than taking aspirin or putting a band aid on a wound,” said Chief Program Officer Angela Piscitello. “Medications alleviate symptoms significantly to a level where a therapist can then work on skills that will allow the individual to manage any remaining triggers, symptoms or pain on their own.”
At a time when many are struggling to find credentialed doctors and practitioners to prescribe and monitor their psychiatric medication, Piscitello said that Catholic Charities has constantly updated its fortified its approach to medication management as part of its overall commitment to comprehensive and holistic mental health care.
“It involves the careful use, monitoring, and adjustment of medications to effectively treat a variety of mental health conditions. These medications, when administered correctly, can help lessen symptoms, bolster coping strategies, and substantially improve the quality of life for many individuals,” she said.
She said the field of psychiatric medications is intricate and individualized.
“It’s unfeasible to expect a standard approach to work for everyone since everyone’s physiology, mental health condition, and personal circumstances are unique. This is precisely where strengthened medication management plays a vital role.”
Catholic Charities is reinforcing its medication management program as a key component of the New Outlook Counseling services. Their team, including psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, and counselors, work collaboratively to create an individualized treatment plan tailored to each client’s needs, with an emphasis on optimizing the use of medications when beneficial.
Following the implementation of the treatment plan, staff engage in diligent monitoring of each client’s progress, making medication adjustments, changes, or incorporating additional treatments as needed.
“Our goal is to ensure that the medications are yielding the intended benefits, and any side effects are manageable,” Piscitello said. “But these medications must be monitored for efficacy and right now practitioners providing this service are at a deficit. We have made sure that our medication management services are properly staffed to meet this need.”
Education is a central part of the Catholic Charities approach. Clients and their families are equipped with the knowledge they need about their mental health conditions and how medications play a role in their over-all treatment plan. This encompasses detailed discussions about the advantages, potential side effects, and lifestyle changes necessary to maximize the effectiveness of the medication.
“Reinforcing medication management within counseling services offers a wealth of benefits. It nurtures a coordinated, integrated approach to care, ensuring all facets of a client’s mental health needs are catered to comprehensively. This holistic approach mitigates the stress and confusion often associated with managing separate providers for counseling and medications,” she said.
The enhanced Medications Management program signifies a significant stride in Catholic Charities’ mission to deliver comprehensive, integrated, and empathetic mental health services. The agency recognizes the complexities associated with mental health issues and wants to emphasize that no one should navigate this journey alone. At New Outlook Counseling, staff offer guidance, hope, and a revitalized outlook on life.