Dr. Yanira Ruidiaz

A crisis intervention team assesses more formally a patient who has depression problems. This team is composed of psychiatrists and primary care doctors.

Primary care physicians get the best type of assessments from mental health professionals for depression patients, explains Dr. Melissa Franco, Family Medicine Physician with Baptist Health Primary Care.

Yanira Ruidiaz, Social Worker with Baptist Health Primary Care, affirms risk factors are usually hereditary or maybe could be any chronic illnesses such as diabetes. Feeling hopeless is a sign of depression. Dr. Melissa Franco, Family Medicine Physician with Baptist Health Primary Care, affirms her role as primary care physician is to get to know the person and not just the condition or diagnosis.

In her case, Yanira Ruidiaz, Social Worker with Baptist Health Primary Care, says she always wants to help people, because it is so rewarding.

People don’t feel comfortable with the way they’re feeling. Stigma of depression or stigma of mental health can affect treatment. Family is always the best support. Treatment and continuous counseling are very important in cases of depression or suicidal thoughts. “We’ve tried to be very consistent with the patients, calling them every two weeks, especially if they start a new medication,” says Yanira Ruidiaz, Social Worker with Baptist Health Primary Care.

GED-7 is an anxiety screening questionnaire. Depression and anxiety, often times, go hand-in-hand. Patients can also have panic attacks.

The medications that physicians use to treat depression are also used to treat anxiety, explains Dr. Melissa Franco, Family Medicine Physician with Baptist Health Primary Care. Sometimes, depression is one of the problems that may contribute to other things going on with the patient’s health. Depression is a condition that many doctors need to be in tune with, according to Dr. Melissa Franco, Family Medicine Physician with Baptist Health Primary Care.

Declining in their work, starting complaining about almost everything, having sleep problems, isolating from others and having suicide thoughts are the most symptoms of depression, she affirms. PHQ-9 is a reproducible questionnaire. It’s a tool that physicians use to determine possible depression or a suicidal thought, says Yanira Ruidiaz, Social Worker with Baptist Health Primary Care.

Feeling hopeless, feeling trapped, feeling alone, feeling anxious or agitated, feeling as if there is no reason to go on living, thinking of suicide as a way out, experiencing mood swings and abusing alcohol or drugs are some of the warning signs for suicide. Baker Act is a way to mandate the emergency treatment that has to happen for the patient’s mental health. Sometimes, it can be scary for a patient.

Dr. Melissa Franco, Family Medicine Physician with Baptist Health Primary Care, affirms physicians do Baker act for the patients’ help and for their own good. “They may be so severely depressed they don’t realize how much of a risk they are to themselves or to others”.

Baker act means patient is going to a more complete evaluation, she says. Dr. Melissa Franco, Family Medicine Physician with Baptist Health Primary Care, says empowerment program is basically a mental health screening plan at Baptist.

All the patients (new or in their annual physical exam) has two-questions screening depression questionnaire, she explains. If someone is screen positive, physicians are going into a more detailed questionnaire.

Depending on the patient’s score, the institution has a Depression scoring, which categorizes patients’ depression.

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