Supporting Mental Health in Home Health Care


The staff at Our Lady of Peace (OLP) Home Health Care provides physical, emotional, and spiritual care to patients in the community. And that means they take a little extra time to identify a patient’s needs, beyond the physical. 

When patient is first admitted, a mental health screening is done that includes the use of a depression screening tool. The screening helps the care team determine how to meet the patient’s needs. If a patient ranks high on the chart, they know to ask if they would like to talk with someone who may be able to provide help and support, and if they’re agreeable, the nurse provides resources. “We also spend time with the patient and their families to get to know them,” says Home Care Supervisor, Kathryn Capouch. “We’re a tight knit group, and very collaborative. We truly care about our patients and how they’re doing body, mind, and spirit. Making sure they get the same nurse every time is a big part of that because it lowers anxiety levels, as soon as they walk through the door.”

It’s okay to talk about mental health.

Loneliness plays a big role in a patient’s mental health, and it can lead to depression and anxiety. People are hesitant about asking the hard questions. Have you been down? Have you felt isolated? But it’s often a relief for people to be asked about how they’re feeling emotionally because it opens the door to talk about it. 

When we talk to your loved one about their mental health, we are as gentle as possible, and we also encourage families to talk to us. Kathryn says, “It’s okay to talk about mental health, and it’s helpful to our home health care team to know if there are concerns because we can keep an eye on it and seek help, when needed.”

How we support mental health

“When mental health issues arise, we let the patient talk things out,” explains Kathryn. “And if things get turned upside down, we quickly assess the situation while trying to de-escalate it. We ask that patients and families be patient with our staff, and again, share as much information upon intake, so we are better prepared. Our goal is for everyone to be comfortable.” 

The dedicated nurses of OLP Home Health Care welcome mental health conversations with patients and families. And they are respectful, nonjudgmental, and discreet. They simply want as much information as possible, so they can provide the best possible care.