CHRISTUS Point of Light Clinic and Krist Samaritan are partnering together to not only heal the body, but also heal the mind. In 2019, Krist Samaritan began offering their counseling services to Point of Light patients. The need has grown so much that counselors are now available 2 days a week.
According to Krist Samaritan counselor Holly Pryor, Point of Light Clinic was looking for an integrated approach to serving patients. “The ability to have patients seen by a doctor or nurse practitioner, and that provider to refer to an in-house counselor was seen as a critical need in serving this vulnerable population.”
Counseling patients range in age from 6 years to adults in their 60’s. “We see several patients daily with depression and anxiety,” said Sister Ricca Dimalibot, M.D., Point of Light’s Director & Physician. “Since most of our patients do not have insurance, they are not able to see a Psychiatrist or start counseling.” Some are seeking counseling as a direct impact of trauma endured through Hurricane Harvey. (Dickinson was severely impacted during the storm and is still recovering.)
“Processing what the patient is going through with a trained professional could help equip the patients with coping skills and assist them in modifying unhealthy behaviors that worsens symptoms,” said Sister Ricca. “It is easier to convince patients to see a counselor when service is available in-house. They already trust us as their medical home, and they would trust that we have their best interest in mind when we refer them for counseling.”
The team at Point of Light is seeing first-hand the impact that the counseling services are making on the overall health of patients. According to Holly, “One client came in for services related to anxiety. After several sessions, she stated she had learned so much through our meetings that she felt that she ‘was good and was no longer in need of attending sessions.’ She added she felt as if she had learned coping strategies that had helped her manage and control her anxiety.”