What is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner?
A psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) is an advanced practice registered nurse trained to provide a wide range of mental health services to patients and families in a variety of settings. PMHNPs assess and diagnose, conduct psychotherapy, and prescribe medications for patients who have psychiatric disorders or substance abuse problems. They are licensed to provide emergency psychiatric services, psychosocial and physical assessment of their patients, treatment plans, and manage patient care. They may also serve as consultants or as educators for families.
PMHNPs may work with a wide range of people, including:
- Children who have or are at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders
- Adults dealing with stressful and emotional situations, including people dealing with chronic medical conditions and older adults at risk for emotional and cognitive decline
- People with a serious, chronic mental illness or who have mental health problems that lead to criminal behavior
- People with substance-related problems
- People who are in prison, homeless, victims of violence and abuse, and similar circumstances
After completing a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree takes two to five more years of training. First the individual must earn a four-year college degree in nursing (BSN). Then, the candidate must complete an approved Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) advanced nursing education program.
What will happen during my first appointment?
We will meet with you for an extensive interview and psychiatric evaluation in which we will gather some information such as your history, symptoms, and family dynamics. Within this first session together, we will then determine the best plan of action to move forward.
Will my treatment be kept confidential?
We will not reveal any information regarding what happens within the work that we do together unless you have signed the Authorization to Disclose Information form. In the instance that you are in danger of harming yourself or another, then we are obligated by law to notify the authorities of this.
Will the cost of my treatment be covered by my insurance plan?
Depending on what type of insurance provider you are currently using, coverage for our services will vary. Many insurance companies reimburse anywhere from 50-80% of the total cost of services. We take payments are the beginning of each session, and take cash, and all major credit cards.
What is an out-of-network provider?
Out-of-network provider refers to healthcare providers who do not participate in an insurer’s provider network. This means that the provider has not signed a contract agreeing to accept the insurer’s negotiated prices.
What is an out-of-network claim?
An out-of-network claim is a request for your health insurance company to reimburse a bill from a provider that does not have a negotiated contract with your health insurance company. If you are billed for the full cost of a visit directly by your provider, or they have told you they do not accept insurance, it is likely they are out-of-network.
Do all health insurance policies reimburse out-of-network claims?
No, not all policies reimburse out-of-network claims. Check with your insurance provider to see if your plan has out-of-network benefits. Typically, a PPO or a POS type plan will have some type of out-of-network coverage, while most HMO and EMO plans only reimburse for out-of-network care in the case of an emergency.
How long will my treatment last?
There are no precise determinations that we can make regarding the length of your treatment. Generally speaking, the longer you have had your mental illness not medically acknowledged, the longer the treatment will take. Certain conditions do not require a lot of time to treat, and others considerably more. Certain mental illnesses require just a couple of visits, and others require lifelong maintenance. We believe that you should seek treatment as soon as possible, for the best outcome.
How can I prevent mental illness from coming back?
We give you guidance and protocols to adhere to both inside and outside of our office. Follow the treatment regimen and plan of action that we prescribe. Make sure that you follow the medication regimen, attend the psychotherapy and counseling sessions, and keep your life as balanced as you can. It is very important to try and avoid stressful situations, let your loved ones help you whenever possible, and seek help the moment you feel like your mental illness is coming back or getting worse.
What determines if my mental illness will come back?
There are a few components that play a part in the recurrence of mental illness.
Coexisting stresses in life: oftentimes, a mental illness will recur if there are additional life stressors (family or marital problems, starting a new job, losing someone close to you).
- Age: more often than not, if someone is diagnosed with a mental illness earlier than later in life, there is a higher likelihood of the illness recurring.
- Diagnosis: Some mental illnesses are more common to recur than others. Some of the ones on the list that are more likely to come back are: OCD, drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders, and bipolar disorder.
What if I have an emergency or an urgent situation come up?
If you find yourself in the midst of an emergency, please immediately call 9-1-1. If you have an urgent situation, call our office, and we will see you as soon as we can.