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Behavioral health facility expands, relocates

A local mental health facility has outgrown its office space and is relocating. Serenity Behavioral Health is moving its offices from 990 E. Calvada Blvd., and will open in the new offices at 2280 E. Calvada Blvd. on June 16.

Serenity Behavioral Health Director Robin Warren said the move will not only double the square footage of the facility to 3,000 square feet, it will also allow the staff to offer more services to clients.

Currently SBH offers individual therapy and has reached out to families and couples who need assistance coping with either mental illness of their own or that of a family member. One of the services includes an assessment of the individual situation and therapy to build coping skills.

The basic skills training services are specifically focused basic living skills, self care, social and communication skills, honing parenting skills and time management and living effectively through a life transition such as a divorce, relocation or death of a loved one.

There are also services available for psycho social rehabilitation. The prime focus is behavior management, including social competence, effective communication, moral reasoning and how to identify a problem and come to a reasonable solution.

Those with issues of self identity, emotional intimacy, anxiety, setting goals and developing a sense of humor may also benefit from the services.

Warren said, “The new facility will give us room to provide day treatment in a group setting.” She said there are a great number of issues which would benefit individuals participating in group therapy.

Some of the issues are depression, mood swings, trust, fear, anger management, controlling impulses, making decisions, feeling empathy for another person, dealing with peer pressure and any number of other social coping methods.

The most recent service added to SBH’s services is medication management. Tiffany Russaw, a nationally board certified Nurse Practitioner has joined the staff on Mondays to help people understand the value of medication as well as the effects and side-effects.

She received her certification in July 2013, and is also qualified to perform psychiatric evaluations and prescribe medications.

She said, “Medication management requires a wealth of knowledge of psychiatric diagnoses and the medications used to treat them in addition to physical disease processes and their respective medications.

“This includes a thorough understanding of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of these medications. For example, I would not prescribe Depakote to a patient that has abnormal liver function as Depakote can worsen this pre-existing condition.

“I have to educate my patients on the intended purposes as well as possible side effects, benefits and limitations of the medications they are on.”

Russaw said she is constantly educating herself on new medications that become FDA approved as they become available quite frequently.

She is also a psychotherapist.

Russaw is not always at this office as her services are required in other rural locations. She said, “The day and time I am available is Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but the actual Mondays vary. I’m not there every Monday.”

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