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Shining a Light on the Importance of Mental Health Care in Our Community

By Danielle Larsson, Boundary Community Hospital

With Heather (Sunshine) Bartlett, PMHNP, you can find the care and support you need to overcome mental health challenges

Mental health is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being. It affects how we think, feel and behave, and can significantly impact our ability to function in our daily lives. Mental health issues are much more prevalent than most realize. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.

Individuals suffering from mental health issues may feel overwhelmed, hopeless and alone, leading to decreased quality of life, reduced productivity and work performance, increased risk of physical health problems, problems with substance use, strained relationships, or self-harm. The effects are not limited to the individual. Unaddressed mental health issues have a ripple effect on society, affecting families, communities, and the economy. Unfortunately, mental health issues are still stigmatized in our society, and many people do not seek the help they need due to fear of judgment or lack of access to care. However, the importance of mental health in our society cannot be overstated.

It is essential to understand that mental health issues can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender or background. It is not a weakness or something to be ashamed of; it is a part of the human experience that requires attention and care.

Access to mental health care providers can be difficult, especially in rural areas like Boundary County. Many individuals in these areas face long wait lists, high costs, and limited availability of mental health providers. This can lead to untreated mental health issues and a decreased quality of life for those in need. However, Boundary Community Clinics (BCC) is committed to providing the care our community needs and is proud to announce that Heather (Sunshine) Bartlett, PMHNP, a highly trained psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, will be joining BCC. She is passionate about helping individuals achieve positive mental health and lead fulfilling lives. By providing accessible and affordable mental health care, BCC is positively impacting our community's mental health and well-being.

As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, Sunshine can help to provide guidance in diagnosis and medication options to optimize your mental health. Sunshine works in conjunction with your therapist to provide you with the support you need to thrive. She understands mental health’s impact on individuals and society. Her approach to mental health care is holistic, focusing on the person as a whole and addressing the root causes of mental health issues, not just the symptoms. By providing support and care for individuals who have experienced trauma, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, or chemical dependency, Sunshine is able to help people improve their quality of life by balancing lifestyle changes with appropriate medication(s) as needed.

If you, or a loved one, is struggling with mental health issues, it's important to know that help is available. Heather (Sunshine) Bartlett, PMHNP, is a compassionate and experienced mental health provider, and you can request a referral from your primary care provider to access her care. Sunshine works with patients aged 6 and older and offers a range of services to address various mental health concerns.

For more information about her practice and services, contact Boundary Community Clinics at 208.267.3655. Remember, seeking help for mental health issues is a sign of strength, and with the right support, individuals can overcome their challenges and achieve good mental health.

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