VIDEO: The FOCUS Program at Rogers

Posted on 03/27/14 06:51:am

Dr. Jerry Halverson discusses FOCUS, Rogers' new residential program for young adults with depression and other mood disorders.

Featured Doctor: Jerry L. Halverson, MD, FAPA, medical director, FOCUS

Halverson: The FOCUS program is an exciting new option here at Rogers Memorial Hospital. We are really trying to take patients in this transition of life where they're moving from adolescence to adulthood. It's when you're leaving your family, it's when you're establishing roots, it's when you're going to college, getting a job, these are very important developmental milestones. It's very common for mood disorders to become more of an issue at this time, so it can be a particular problem if it's not diagnosed and treated as a young adult. Because this is where we're establishing our careers, this is where we are establishing our families and an untreated mood disorder can wreak havoc with all of that.

What we're going to do is we're going to diagnose correctly what's going on and oftentimes it's going to be a mood disorder. We're also going to treat other things that come with the mood disorder -- such as issues with addiction, problems with suicidal thoughts, self-injury (those are the types of things that can come with untreated depression) -- and give them evidence-based treatment help them get back on track.

We have evidence-based use of cognitive behavioral therapy groups which is very unique. It's something that we've done in our system before and has worked very well. We're also using specific techniques and behavioral activation, which will help the young adult move forward in the way that they have to. What's also unique about FOCUS is that it is supervised by a psychiatrist, so you will have the therapy that is very effective, you'll also have medications. We know that medications and therapy work better together than they do alone.

Part of the therapeutic community and therapeutic environment will be teaching people, once again, that it's okay to reach out for help and I do believe that the community and the environment at FOCUS and the support that they will receive will give people the comfort to reach out of their comfort zone, engage with other people, learn how to be successful at school, to get a job, to have relationships.

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