AllHealth Network Superstars at NAMI Walks 2016 Photo Gallery!
- Category: News/Events
- Written by External Relations Team
Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network has officially changed its name to AllHealth Network.
AllHealth Network is the oldest community mental-health center in the Denver metro area addressing behavioral health conditions, mental health and addiction. In a recent interview with its Executive Director/CEO Joan DiMaria, we learned why the name change, some startling statistics and much more.
What is your background and why were you drawn to this field?
My mother was a nurse and I wanted to help people as my mom had. In graduate nursing school, I became interested in hospice care. An inspiring professor, however, was successful in steering me to behavioral health. I moved here from Connecticut in 1974 and have over 35 years in the field. My work as a psychiatric nurse brought me to what is now AllHealth Network in 1990. My journey took off rapidly as I became program manager, clinical director and deputy director. In 2006, I was appointed chief operations officer.
Why the name change?
AllHealth considers the whole being. We offer a spectrum of programs across a lifespan for what is a brain disease with various types and categories, more common, yet more treatable than cancer, diabetes or heart disease. There is help from postpartum depression to elders at risk. We promote wellness, early intervention in the community and growing a support system.
Why is mental health awareness especially important to Colorado?
The needs are great here. Colorado is second or third in the nation for drug abuse. Colorado is ranked seventh in the suicide-rate category. More than two-thirds of Americans who have a mental illness live in the community and lead productive lives. During the fiscal year 2015, AllHealth Network served close to 15,000 clients. There is an increase in 2016 with 700 to 800 new cases each month. This trend will continue as more individuals enroll through the Affordable Care Act. One in 10 children have a serious mental or emotional disorder that if untreated can lead to school failure, physical illness, substance abuse and even suicide. Bullying has become an increasing concern beginning with young children.
What services are provided by AllHealth Network?
AllHealth Network serves clients at 10 clinical locations with more than 30 community partnerships in the south metro area. Clients are largely from Arapahoe County (47 percent) and Douglas County (32 percent) and other counties (21 percent). There are comprehensive services for adults, families, teens and children. The list includes: counseling – individual, group, family; psychiatry, substance abuse treatment, peer support, early childhood consultation, criminal-justice services, victim services, Bridge Acute Treatment Unit, vocational and social rehabilitation, school-based services, integrated healthcare, education and wellness programs, pharmacy, crisis response, care coordination and management.
Do you have parting comments?
With more knowledge, comes more awareness. If we do more work on the front end, lives are saved. If we change the stigma, including employers being discreet and supportive, more people can get help. People do not have to suffer alone and be discriminated against. We are providing more services where people live, work or go to school. With proper care and treatment, between 70 and 90 percent of persons with mental illness can experience a significant reduction of symptoms and an improved quality of life. We are expanding to teach mental health first aid to lay people. If you don’t have the words, listen.
Joan DiMaria is passionate about her profession. She led the implementation of the current strategic plan and led the charge for opening the pharmacy, planning and implementing the Mental Health Court (now called Wellness Court), creating the Bridge Acute Treatment Unit and planning the Be Well Primary Care Unit.
For information and appointments: 303-730-8858. Emergency and Crisis Intervention: 303-730-3303 (24-hour availability and walk-ins are welcome). Insurance and private pay are accepted. All information gathered is confidential. Paperwork can be downloaded at allhealthnetwork.org.
A Message on Mental Health Month....
It is hard to believe it is May, particularly since we have been digging out of snowstorms of late, yet it is spring and also an important month for those of us working, advocating and supporting mental health.
Although we do this every day, the month of May is designated as a time for us to pay special attention to our mind health. We take this opportunity to help raise awareness, respond to stigma and to assure our communities there are resources available to understand and treat mental illness.
As our new name suggests, AllHealth Network recognizes the importance and value of mind and body health, and how integrating care can provide for our clients and their families a whole health approach that is accessible and complete. And as we acknowledge this as Mental Health month, we encourage our clients, friends, families and community members to pay attention and reach out if you are in need, or know someone in need of services and support.
As this month begins, we will be sharing stories, insights, and some tips to help as we all experience caring for our own mental health and stand by those who are near and dear to us, and in our community. We have included some statistics below to begin the discussion.
I encourage you to pass on your own commitment to dismantling stigma, supporting access to care, and creating an environment where mental health conversation is elevated to be a bigger and broader community dialogue.
CEO and Executive Director