For 63-year-old Rebecca Brockway, her experiences with depression and mania go back to adolescence.
“I struggled even back in my teens with depression and what I thought were just bursts of energy,” she shares. “But those got worse, and my depression got worse. So, I sought help, but I didn’t feel like I was heard.”
Rebecca reached out to numerous places for support but was told repeatedly, “We’re not taking new patients” and “I’m not sure we can help.” Finally, she found MultiCare Rockwood Behavioral Health and met a counselor who was committed to partnering with her on her journey to better mental health.
“I believe for the first time in my life, I was listened to, and I didn’t feel like I was weird or crazy. It gave me hope,” Rebecca remembers. “My counselor said, ‘I will not abandon you, I will be here for you, I will help you, but you have to do some hard work.’”
While previous counselors had treated her with medication for depression, no one had ever addressed her mania before. At MultiCare Rockwood Behavioral Health, Rebecca was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, getting answers for the first time in decades.
Expanding MultiCare Behavioral Health services in the Inland Northwest
MultiCare Rockwood Behavioral Health is available to help patients like Rebecca so that no one feels alone when facing a mental health challenge. Along with providing a spectrum of treatment and support services in person and virtually, providers and staff work with primary care physicians to care for the whole person — both physically and mentally.
But to make this kind of care accessible to everyone, behavioral health services need to grow in the Inland Northwest region. Access to such services has long been an issue here. About 28 percent of all patients with ongoing or complex medical conditions also suffer from depression, anxiety or other behavioral health concerns.
Behavioral health “is still a growing service line here in the Inland Northwest,” Samantha Clark, director of programs and strategic partnerships for MultiCare’s Inland Northwest region, explains. “But there are multiple projects on the horizon. One of those is a crisis stabilization unit in MultiCare Deaconess Hospital. We also have plans to grow outpatient services within an embedded community center that will provide much needed behavioral health care access to two of Spokane’s poorest zip codes.”
In February, MultiCare and Kootenai Health announced plans to work together on select behavioral health initiatives.
Partnerships like this, as well as community support, will help provide better access to essential behavioral health services in the region.