New mental health outpatient clinic to be staffed by nurse practitioners

News Press Now, an internet source based in St. Joseph, Missouri, reported that the Heartland Regional Medical Center recently opened an outpatient clinic in the area to service individuals who frequently "fall through the cracks" after being discharged from an in-house program.

According to the news source, the Heartland Psychiatry Clinic is located close to the hospital and is staffed by nurse practitioners, a social worker and two part-time psychiatrists. The center was created to ameliorate the severe need for mental health services in the St. Joseph area and reduce the overcrowding of many existing clinics, including the Family Guidance Center and the Samaritan Center.

"We saw a need to provide faster medication management services," Michael Caputo, a psychiatrist at the clinic, told the news source. "We are now providing for that population, as well as other mental health patients in the community."

The major issue that nurse practitioners who staff the clinic encounter is anxiety, which, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, is a condition that up to 18 percent of American suffer from. On a daily basis, these medical professionals, who have earned Master of Science in Nursing degrees and can preform many of the same services as physicians, see 25-30 patients. 

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