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Behavioral Health Consultants Help Patients Manage Stress

Press Releases
April 12, 2018

April is Stress Awareness Month

Stress does not merely afflict your mind; it can also affect you on a cellular level. In fact, long-term stress can lead to a wide range of illnesses—from headaches to stomach disorders to depression—and can increase the risk of serious conditions like stroke and heart disease. April is National Stress Awareness Month, and Behavioral Health Consultants at Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic are here to help.

Understanding the mind/stress/health connection can help you better manage stress and improve your health and well-being.

As part of the Primary Care Medical Home model of care, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic offers access to Behavioral Health Consultants, licensed mental health professionals to provide a brief intervention or consultation as part of the primary care visit.

The idea behind integrated behavioral health within the primary care setting is to truly take care of the whole person at the place most frequently used for all health concerns: a primary care clinic.

“Access to emotional health and stress management care is vital if we want to make a difference in our patients’ overall health,” Behavioral Health Consultant Juliette Cutts, Psy.D, said. 

By integrating behavioral health with primary care Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic has created a safe, familiar, and convenient atmosphere for patients to receive behavioral health consultation as a standard of care.

During difficult times a patient will typically first seek advice from their primary provider.  Because our providers work with a behavioral health consultant that is on site, they can help the patient navigate through the stressors of life when they need a little extra support.

During times of stress people often experience painful muscle tension in their shoulders and neck. One of the ways Cutts suggests to reduce this pain is to use a rubber or tennis ball at the end of a tube sock, place the ball on the tense muscles, and then press in small circles against a wall to help work out the tension.

“Another use for the tube sock is to make a home-made neck pillow – fill the sock about half-way with raw rice and essential oils or herbs to your preference, sew or tie if off so the rice does not leak, and heat it in the microwave or freeze it to make a weighted neck pillow,” Cutts added.

Cutts also recommends pausing before starting a test/presentation to focus on your breath for a few breaths. 

“This will help reduce your anxiety and improve your performance,” she said.

If you would like to explore more ideas for how to manage stress, schedule an appointment with a Behavioral Health Consultant at Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic.  

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Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides comprehensive medical and social services for more than 149,000 people. We employ 1,482 full-time staff and 705 part-time staff, medical residents, dental residents, administrative fellows, students and volunteers. Facilities: 24 medical clinics, 12 dental clinics, 8 pharmacies, and 59 program sites. Washington locations: Grandview, Granger, Kennewick, Prosser, Pasco, Spokane, Sunnyside, Toppenish, Yakima, Walla Walla, and Wapato. Oregon locations: Astoria, Clatskanie, Hermiston, Newberg, McMinnville, Portland, Salem, and Woodburn. Our Mission: Together we are dedicated to lead, with the courage to care, the determination to promote personal growth, and the compassion to champion the cause of those who have no voice. Visit: www.yvfwc.com

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