Mia was a fairly new patient to our behavioral health services, being recently referred by her child’s Vibrant Health pediatrician. She was a single mother, and had been through some difficult experiences throughout her life.
One day, Mia walked into the clinic without an appointment. Our therapist could tell our that it was an urgent need, and made room in her schedule to see her immediately. Mia began describing a recent traumatic event that she had experienced. While talking through the trauma and her approach to processing and dealing with the event, our therapist soon noticed Mia had visible open wounds and a sharp object in her hands. It was the same object she had used to hurt herself.
After seeing this, the therapist knew she needed to take action to ensure Mia’s safety. She began talking with Mia through the anguish she was feeling. She was able to remove the harmful object, ensuring Mia would not cause additional harm to herself. A follow-up appointment was scheduled for the next day to continue to help Mia process the traumatic event and discuss coping skills. Mia expressed gratitude that the therapist was able to meet with her during this critical time when she needed extra support from someone that she could trust.
This week we celebrate National Health Center Week, which is a recognition of all the work done by health centers like Vibrant Health across the country. The story above is reflective of this critical work and commitment in a few ways:
• Our clinical staff is focused on the entire family and the whole person. This shows by our pediatrician knowing to make a behavioral health referral for their patient’s mom.
• Mia’s therapist was able to quickly identify the need to meet with Mia, and made room in her schedule to visit immediately.
• Our therapist was able to calmly talk Mia into handing over the sharp object, without causing more harm to herself or others.
Health centers provide critical services to families in need, every single day. Vibrant Health sees about 10,000 patients a year, most of whom live at or below the federal poverty line.
This is possible because of an amazing team of committed professional staff that care deeply about our community and our patients. They go above and beyond every day in a sometimes difficult environment to provide great care.
Health centers, and the families we serve, face many challenges, but the heart of what we do is our passionate and committed staff. And even a small group of passionate people can accomplish amazing things!
Patrick Sallee is the CEO of Vibrant Health. Patrick has spent his career in the non-profit world because it allows him to pursue the issues he’s passionate about: providing opportunities for children, helping others, fighting for the underrepresented, and building communities. Patrick spends his spare time with his wife Chesney, twin daughters Avery and Makenna and newborn Lowen. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org