Tag Archives: behavioral health

September is National Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Month

In recognition of Recovery Month, we ask you to take a moment to consider those around you who may be suffering from an emotional or substance use problem.

Here are five signs that may mean someone is in emotional pain and might need help:

Their personality changes.

You may notice sudden or gradual changes in the way that someone typically behaves. He or she may behave in ways that don’t seem to fit the person’s values, or the person may just seem different.

They seem uncharacteristically angry, anxious, agitated, or moody.

You may notice the person has more frequent problems controlling his or her temper and seems irritable or unable to calm down. People in more extreme situations of this kind may be unable to sleep or may explode in anger at a minor problem.

They withdraw or isolate themselves from other people.

Someone who used to be socially engaged may pull away from family and friends and stop taking part in activities he or she used to enjoy. In more severe cases the person may start failing to make it to work or school. Not to be confused with the behavior of someone who is more introverted, this sign is marked by a change in someone’s typical sociability, as when someone pulls away from the social support he or she typically has.

They stop taking care of themselves and may engage in risky behavior.

You may notice a change in the person’s level of personal care or an act of poor judgment on his or her part. For instance, someone may let his or her personal hygiene deteriorate, or the person may start abusing alcohol or illicit substances or engaging in other self-destructive behavior that may alienate loved ones.

They seem overcome with hopelessness and overwhelmed by their circumstances.

Have you noticed someone who used to be optimistic and now can’t find anything to be hopeful about? That person may be suffering from extreme or prolonged grief, or feelings of worthlessness or guilt. People in this situation may say that the world would be better off without them, suggesting suicidal thinking.


You connect, you reach out, you inspire hope and you offer help.

Show compassion and caring and a willingness to find a solution when the person may not have the will or drive to help him- or herself.

It may take more than one offer and you may need to reach out to others who share your concern about the person who is suffering.

If everyone is more open and honest about mental health and substance abuse, we can prevent pain and suffering, and those in need will get the help they deserve.

For more information about local resources,
Contact the McHenry County Crisis Line at 800-892-8900
Centegra Behavioral Health Services at 800-765-9999

Psychiatric Consult Liaison Service

Behavioral Health Consultants in the Care Coordination Department will partner alongside our Inpatient Psychiatric Service to more readily serve our patients. The Psychiatric Consult Liaison Service (formerly Behavioral Health Consultants) will work in conjunction with our psychiatrists to assess for risk, place hold orders, patient safety companion orders and determine appropriate level of care. The goal is to create a service that mimics our ED structure which relies on the collaboration between our Crisis Associates and ED Physicians with telephonic psychiatric support to serve this population. This shift in process allows for 7 day a week coverage with no gaps in psychiatric service by utilizing the Psychiatric Consult Liaison Service as an extension of the Psychiatric Service by both improving the care for our patients on our inpatient units and affecting our throughput efforts.

Starting Monday June 8, 2015 there will be changes to multiple order sets in Paragon.

The Psychiatric Consult Liaison Service order will be replacing the following orders:

  • Behavioral Health Consult
  • CD Evaluation
  • Psychiatry Consult (Add Instructions: MD and Reason)

Multiple order sets will be impacted by this change. Most used order sets affected:

  • OB – Labor and Delivery Admission; Adult
  • OB – Postpartum Admission; Adult
  • Behavioral Health Admission; Adult
  • OB – Cesarean Section, Post Op; Adult
  • Hold Order
  • Alcohol Withdrawal; Adult Module
  • OB – Cesarean Section, Pre Op; Adult
  • Alcohol Withdrawal Adult Module
  • Bariatric Surgery Admission
  • Bariatric Discharge Orders
  • Ischemic Stroke; Adult
  • Heart Failure Admission; Adult
  • Opiate Withdrawal; Adult Module
  • OB – General Admission; Adult

**If these order sets were previously on your favorite orders list then they will need to be added back to that list**

All the order sets affected can be found here.

Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Consultations

Due to changes in the availability of our consulting psychiatry team we are implementing a modification in how psychiatry and behavioral health consultations are addressed on the medical floors at CHM and CHW. Starting November 1, 2014 psychiatrist coverage for consultations at CHM and CHW will be available Mondays through Fridays. For weekend and holiday coverage such consultations will be referred to the Centegra Behavioral Health Crisis Service for evaluation. A psychiatrist will always be available telephonically to provide support to the crisis workers; similarly, a psychiatrist will always be available via telephone to provide support to all Centegra Health System Medical Staff physicians/providers to address clinical matters on patients hospitalized at a Centegra facility. A call list will be sent out and the Care Coordination team, Crisis associates and operators will always know which psychiatrist is on-call.

We recognize this is a change from how things have been handled and look forward to collaborating with you to work through issues as they may arise. Crisis workers are not able to order laboratory/imaging studies or medications; this will require the cooperation of the ordering physician, again with support from the psychiatrist. The crisis associates will be able to evaluate risk/perform safety assessments, recommend aftercare and disposition options (including psychiatric hospitalization) and even assist with capacity determinations. If you feel that psychiatric medications are indicated call the on-call psychiatrist.

As a reminder, psychiatric consultation is appropriate for psychosis, altered mental status that is not clearing after thorough work-up for and treating organic causes, mania and patients with mental illnesses who are unstable. Patients being treated for acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome should not require a consultation if the available withdrawal protocol is initiated and followed appropriately. Please call with questions to help clarify how the psychiatrist can assist you:

Paul Berkowitz, MD