Behavioral Health - Colorado Springs, CO

Behavioral & Mental Health Services

Our goal is to provide the highest quality care with a collaborative, integrated approach to your health

Behavioral Health @ Matthews-Vu logo

Mental health is a complex, and sometimes misunderstood issue. Our practice is here to help you learn about and address it. At Matthews-Vu Medical Group, our behavioral health providers work closely with primary care teams to best coordinate every individual’s care and health needs. We do this by addressing a behavioral health ailment with consideration to the complex biological, psychological, and social factors contributing to that ailment. Services include medication evaluations, genetic testing, support, and therapy. If at any time you or a loved one may need mental and behavioral health support, talk to your primary care provider about all available treatment options.

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Meet Our Behavioral Health Providers

Dominique Dijkhuizen, MSW, LCSW
Melissa Powell, LPC
Melissa Powell, LPC
Clinical Counselor
Lisa Reed, LCSW
Lisa Reed, LCSW
Social Worker
Andrew Sedillo, MD
Andrew Sedillo, MD
Child Psychiatry
Laura Welch, LCSW
Laura Welch, LCSW
Social Worker
Rachel Wilkenson, MD
Rachel Wilkenson, MD
Adult Psychiatry

FAQs on Behavioral & Mental Health Services: 

What Exactly Is Behavioral Health?

"Behavioral health" refers to any healthcare focused on a person's emotions and/or behaviors. This type of care can include well recognized mental health support services; but it also extends to various efforts to support good health through good habits and behaviors. Additionally, addressing unhealthy habits will even be a helpful part of treating mental health overall.

At the Matthews-Vu Medical Group, our behavioral health providers work closely with primary medical teams to best coordinate every individual’s care and health needs while considering the complex interactions between various biological, psychological, and social factors that influence health and illness. Services include medication evaluations, genetic testing, support, and therapy.

What Types Of Health Issues Does This Service Treat?

Our behavioral health providers offer treatment for issues such as:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Non-medication treatment for chronic pain
  • Coping with chronic medical conditions
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Stress
  • Weight loss
  • Diabetes management
  • Smoking cessation
  • Sleep problems

What Exactly Is A Mental Illness?

The term “mental health” or “mental illness” is an umbrella statement used to refer to numerous conditions that affect mood, thinking, and behavior. Often, these illnesses develop to various imbalances of chemicals and/or hormones in the human body and brain. These imbalances are what lead to debilitating moods, thinking, and symptoms. 

How Will I Know If I Or A Loved One Need Mental Health Care?

Mental illness typically does not present suddenly or "out of the blue"; instead, the people surrounding the afflicted individual often begin to recognize small changes in behavior as the illness increases in intensity. Because of this, it’s important to listen to the concerns of loved ones, as well as to seek safe avenues to communicate any concerns you feel for a loved one of your own.

What Are Common Signs And Symptoms Of Mental Illness?

While there are several hundred mental health conditions, many of these health issues present with similar symptoms that you can mention to a doctor; then, your medical team can determine exactly what you need treatment for. Common and/or urgent reasons to seek professional and comprehensive mental health services include the following:

  • Any major changes in personality, eating habits and appetite, or sleeping patterns
  • The feeling of disconnection and/or the withdrawal from normal activities
  • Unusual or "magical" thinking that seems out-of-the-norm and/or out of the realm of reality
  • Excessive anxiety
  • Prolonged sadness, depression, or apathy that does not change or improve from day-to-day or week-to-week
  • Thoughts or statements about suicide or harming others
  • Substance misuse
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Excessive anger, hostility or violent behavior

Because these symptoms develop and last over a period of time, many people struggling with these symptoms do not realize they are not the norm. Others may avoid treatment out of shame or fear. Both lines of thought are incorrect and will prevent people from reaching their healthy potential. If you're concerned about your - or a friend or family member’s - mental health, never hesitate to seek advice and begin a conversation about your - or their - care needs.

What Type/s Of Care Is Covered By Mental Health Services?

Mental health is commonly treated with therapy (to help you learn to take healthier actions, improve relationships, express emotions in healthy ways, etc.) and medication meant to provide balance to the hormones and chemicals that are creating your symptoms (including antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotic medications). Combined with a support network, these treatments can provide relief to mental illness sufferers.

You Mentioned That These Services Can Address More Than Mental Health - How Does That Work?

In addition to addressing mental illness, our behavioral health team is able to provide the following care and support to our patients:

  • Stress Management - When your stress is frequent and intense, our team can help you treat and manage it to best support your physical and mental health overall. Support and treatment methods can include relaxation coaching, time management, and the formation of healthy habits such as exercise and choosing healthy meal options.
  • Weight Loss - When you’re struggling to lose weight, we can help you form a weight loss plan that focuses on behavior modification. This is truly the best way to lose weight, as it will allow you to build up a new lifestyle that will keep your weight down after your weight loss efforts come to an end. A well-structured weight loss plan and intervention can also help people with mental illness lose significant weight and keep it off. We will help you with nutrition counseling, self-monitoring tips and guidelines, and more.
  • Diabetes Management - A diabetes diagnosis leads to major life changes, which many patients need help navigating as they adjust their habits and lifestyle accordingly. Our team can help you with this transition with management education and support, nutrition coaching and therapy, and more. This type of care will also improve the mental health of diabetic patients, who are at a higher risk of suffering from mental illness than the general population. 
  • Smoking Cessation - Smoking is an extremely complex habit with strong connections to behavior and health. Smokers often report enjoying the ritual of smoking, for example; while at the same time reporting depression, anxiety, and similar symptoms when they try to stop smoking. On top of these issues, smoking is more common among people with mental health disorders (50% of people with behavioral health disorders smoke, compared to 23% of the general population). Put simply: smokers tend to take pleasure from the habit of smoking, and often struggle to cope with the withdrawal and mental health-related aspects of their withdrawal when they try to quit. Because of this, working with a professional support team may be a necessity to help someone who wants to give up smoking altogether.
  • Sleep Problems - Sleep deprivation is likely to affect our mental health; and people with mental issues are more likely to suffer from sleep problems. Because of this strong relationship, speaking with a behavioral health expert can be extremely helpful for those struggling with sleep issues. We can help you address your health needs with lifestyle changes, better healthy habits, relaxation techniques, and - if needed - cognitive behavioral therapy.