Great River Mental Health provides evaluations, counseling, therapy, psychiatry and psychological testing for patients with mental illness, significant emotional disorders and addictions.

Everyone who receives our services will be treated with respect and dignity, and will be a partner in achieving recovery. We are committed to services that:
  • Demonstrate the value of family inclusion and the benefits of a strong support system
  • Focus on a person's strengths in his or her culture
  • Foster independence and recovery
  • Honor a person’s rights, wishes and needs
  • Promote a person's quality of life

To serve each patient's needs, Great River Mental Health requires referral from a health care provider and patients' medical records. After records are received, the patient scheduler will contact patients to make an appointment.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone experiences. Feeling anxious about a test, or problems at home or work is common. But an anxiety disorder is more than a case of nerves. Anxiety disorders cause such distress that they interfere with people's ability to lead normal lives. Talking to a mental health professional is the first step in treating anxiety disorders.
 
Common anxiety disorders
  • Generalized anxiety disorder causes constant worry that can disrupt your life.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder causes unwanted thoughts. You also may perform certain actions repeatedly.
  • Panic disorder causes an intense fear of being in danger.
  • Phobias are extreme fears of certain objects, places or events.
Anxiety disorders cause intense feelings of panic and fear. They can appear unexpectedly and for no reason. When anxiety moves beyond an occasional wave of apprehension to a constant and dominating force in your life, you need to take steps to curb your anxiety. As a result, you may avoid anything that triggers your fear.
 
What causes anxiety disorders?
These are believed to have an effect:
  • Brain chemistry
  • Experiences
  • Heredity
  • Personality
There is evidence that anxiety disorders run in families. Studies suggest that a genetic factor, possibly activated by experiences, make some people more likely to have them. Because symptoms of anxiety disorders often are relieved by medicines that alter levels of brain chemicals, scientists believe brain chemistry affects the onset of anxiety disorders.
 
People who have low self-esteem and poor coping skills may be more prone to anxiety. Conversely, an anxiety disorder that begins in childhood may contribute to developing low-self esteem. Another factor includes the relation between anxiety disorders and long-term exposure to abuse, violence or poverty.
 
Treating anxiety disorders
Anxiety disorders respond well and often quickly to treatment. The treatment approach depends on the anxiety disorder and its severity. In general, most anxiety disorders are treated with behavioral therapy, medicine or a combination. Remember: Having an anxiety disorder is nothing to be ashamed of.
 

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness characterized by extreme changes in mood, from mania (periods of great excitement, delusions and overactivity) to depression. If not treated, it can lead to risky behavior, damaged relations and careers, and suicidal tendencies. Bipolar disorder is more common in older teenagers and young adults, although it can affect children as young as 6.
 
A bipolar-disorder diagnosis is made only by taking careful note of symptoms, including their severity, length and frequency. The primary symptoms are dramatic and unpredictable mood swings. tThere are different types of bipolar disorders. Among the most common are mania and depression symptoms.
 
Mania symptoms
  • Excessive happiness
  • Excitement
  • High sex drive
  • Increased energy
  • Irritability
  • Less need for sleep
  • Making grand and unattainable plans
  • Racing thoughts
  • Restlessness
Depression symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Change in appetite causing weight loss or gain
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Increased need for sleep
  • Irritability
  • Loss of energy
  • Sadness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Uncontrollable crying
Treatment
Treatment usually is a combination of a mood-stabilizing drug and psychotherapy. Although drug treatment is primary, psychotherapy is important to help patients better cope with the condition.
 

What is depression?

Feelings of sadness, loneliness or hopelessness are natural. They come and go. But if unhappy periods are intense or last for more than a couple weeks, it could be a sign of depression. Clinical depression is a serious health problem. It can change behavior, physical health, appearance, academic performance and the ability to handle everyday decisions and pressures.
 
Recognize the signs
People with depression may:
  • Be uninterested in friends and activities they previously enjoyed
  • Feel helpless, hopeless or worthless
  • Feel sluggish or lack energy
  • Feel unhappy, sad, blue, down or miserable regularly
  • Find it difficult to concentrate
  • Gain or lose weight
  • Have physical symptoms like stomachaches, headaches or backaches
  • Have trouble sleeping or sleep to much
 
Prevent suicide
Knowing the warning signs for suicide could save a life. They include:
  • Buying a gun or other weapon
  • Giving away possessions, or making a will or funeral arrangements
  • Statements such as "I won't be a problem much longer" or "Nothing matters."
  • Sudden, unexplained cheerfulness or calm after a period of depression
  • Threats or talk of suicide
If you notice any of these signs, get help right away. Call a health care professional, mental health clinic or suicide hotline and ask what action to take. In an emergency, call 9-1-1.
 
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
800-784-2433 
 

What is panic disorder?

Panic disorder affects about 6 million American adults. It is twice as common in women than men. Panic attacks often being in late adolescence or early adulthood, but not everyone who has panic attacks will develop panic disorder. During attacks, people with panic disorder may feel a strong need to escape from wherever they are. Some people may find it difficult to leave home
 
Identifying a panic attack
Most panic attacks start suddenly and for no clear reason. They can last from five to 20 minutes. Symptoms include: 
  • Fear of impending doom
  • Fear of losing control
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Feeling flushed or chilled
  • Nausea
  • Pounding heartbeat
  • Sense of unreality
  • Smothering sensation
  • Sweating
  • Tingling or numbness in hands
  • Weakness
 
Overcoming fear
Fear of a panic attack can be overwhelming, but people can overcome them. Ask a health care provider for help, and remember these tips:
  • Separate the attack from the situation. Places and activities don't cause attacks, so don't avoid situations.
  • Using alcohol or unprescribed drugs to escape fears only will increase probems
 

clinical staff

 

Psychiatrist

 

Psychiatrist
Vinodkumar Paddolkar, M.D.

Psychiatrist

Frances Sanchez, M.D., DFAPA, CPE

Psychiatrist

Psychiatrist
Ashley Coffey, LMSW
Therapist

Audrey Cook, M.S., LMHC

Therapist

 Michael Davis, LISW

Therapist

 Kala Haisch, PMHNP-BC

Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

 Rob Kerr-Willbee, LBSW, LMHC

Therapist

Elisa Powell, M.A., LMHC

Therapist

 Gary Szymula, Ph.D.

Psychologist

   

 Jim Towlerton, SAP

Substance-abuse Counselor

Richard Whitaker
Therapist
   

Clinic hours, telephone

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
319-768-3700
 
Mercy Plaza, Suite 251
1225 S. Gear Ave.
West Burlington, IA 52655