The Latitude Compass: Inaugural Edition

Hi, I’m Dr. Armin Hoes, founder of Latitude Mental Health. Welcome to our first official newsletter we have affectionately named Compass in honor of our company’s mantra, “Navigation to Wellness.”

Latitude Mental Health was founded on the principle that ideal mental health care is about more than treating illness – it’s also about achieving wellness. The term wellness can have different interpretations but I see wellness as a state of peak physical and psychological performance in which we develop a sense of optimal health and well-being. When we achieve this state of being there is a positive influence on how we feel about ourselves and how others feel around us.

I started Latitude Mental Health because I saw a need within the mental health community for treatment that promoted wellness.  I believe that wellness is achieved by integrating the benefits of effective medical treatment with the rewards of supportive, dynamic psychotherapy and future oriented coaching.

During my residency training I had the opportunity of serving as lead physician for patients in Internal Medicine, Neurology and Psychiatry clinical settings. Among the most important lessons I took from my experience was that mental health conditions pose more unique challenges than other fields of medicine due to the strong influence of environmental factors and the extent to which those forces can worsen outcomes.

For common health challenges like Hypertension (high blood pressure), Diabetes or Dyslipidemia (high cholesterol), the impact of environmental stress on the outcome of treatment is far less apparent. For these cases, patients can simply make better choices about what foods they eat or how much they exercise and by doing so have a reasonable chance of success in getting better when combining those lifestyle modifications with their medical treatment.

With depression or anxiety conditions, however, the process is not quite that simple. We can take medicine every day, make the appropriate life style modifications and still experience little relief from the excessive worry, reduced drive/motivation or loss of joy that accompanies these conditions. After all, when we leave the doctor’s office we are confronted by the same stressful circumstances that aggravated our symptoms to begin with.  Whether its grief from ongoing family conflicts, lamenting the financial distress related to job loss or agonizing over a recent breakup, the negative forces of these experiences can overwhelm us and ultimately mitigate the benefits of medical treatment.

Several landmark clinical trials have determined that the best approach to treating mental health is to combine treatment modalities and more specifically, recommend comprehensive treatment strategies in which medical interventions are administered in conjunction with evidenced-based psychological therapy. At Latitude Mental Health, we promote treatment plans that encompasses this kind of approach. 

Our general services include prescription management, personalized (individual) therapy, and wellness coaching, however, our gold standard program is Integrated Wellness. Integrated Wellness combines prescription management with therapy or prescription management with coaching to provide a more comprehensive and robust treatment experience.

During my psychiatry residency training I had the privilege of running a clinic for the Veteran’s Health Administration (VA) that offered a full range of mental health treatment services. Our program included psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers as well as a variety of therapists and coaches from multiple disciplines providing an array of services. across the spectrum of mental health care. Through this clinic, Veterans could participate in mindfulness coaching, meditation and yoga training, nutrition counseling, sleep analysis and insomnia counseling, stress management coaching, gardening, Tae Chi and a host of other treatment experiences. I observed time and time again how the vets who participated in multiple forms of treatment (i.e. medicine & therapy, medicine & stress management coaching or therapy & stress management coaching) rather than simply one form of treatment (monotherapy) had better outcomes - irrespective of the severity of their condition.  When it came time for me to start my own practice, I wanted to create a similar experience for patients at Latitude Mental Health.

At Latitude, we understand that the improving mental health can be a difficult journey and at times may feel like navigating through a storm. We believe that if mental illness is the journey then wellness should be the destination.  So our objective is to not only improve your mental health but also to help you achieve and maintain wellness. If you or someone you love is struggling with something and seeks to improve their mental health, call Latitude now and begin you Navigation to Wellness!

V/R

Dr. Armin Hoes

Author
Dr. Armin Hoes CEO & Medical Director, Latitude Mental Health

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