Here’s What Using ZOOM+Care for Mental Health Is Like

 

 

Q: What’s different about your approach to mental healthcare?

Have you ever sought help from a mental health professional? Think of what that experience was like: Did you have to get a referral from your primary care physician first? Did you call around to dozens of providers, only to be met with long wait times and limited availability? And when you finally did get in to see someone, were they even a good fit? Or, maybe you’re one of the 46 million Americans who have never sought help for their mental health because there were too many obstacles in the way.

No doubt about it, there’s a mental healthcare accessibility problem in our country. Zoom wants to change that. As part of our mission to make mental health care easy and accessible, we offer on-demand visits with or without a referral. Getting help is as simple as scheduling a same-day ZOOM+Care visit directly from your phone.

Our approach is a radical departure from the long wait times and barriers of traditional mental healthcare, but we know that change comes with questions. We’re here to answer yours with a little help from Zoom’s Chief Medical Officer—and board-certified psychiatrist—Dr. Erik Vanderlip. Read on to discover what it’s like to use Zoom for Mental Health.

First things first: How do I schedule a visit?

You don’t need a referral to use ZOOM+Care Mental Health. You can schedule a visit directly from your phone.

However, Dr. Vanderlip says, “There is no wrong door for getting mental healthcare at Zoom. You can begin your mental health journey at any of our ZOOM+Care clinics as well. It’s up to you how you want to use Zoom—whether your concern is urgent or not, we have a solution for you.”

So I can go to any ZOOM+Care for mental health, too?

Yes! Like we said, there is no wrong door to mental healthcare at Zoom.

“Say you’re on an anti-anxiety medication like an SSRI, and you’ve been taking it for years,” Vanderlip explains. “If you just need a refill, you can see any Zoom provider. If we can’t address your issue there, we will recommend that you see a Mental Healthcare specialist—and that specialist will pick up where your ZOOM+Care provider left off.”

How does a mental health visit at ZOOM+Care differ from a traditional mental healthcare visit?

At Zoom, we enable patients to make their own decisions about their mental health.

In the words of Dr. Vanderlip, “We’re different because we believe that you can understand what’s happening to you, and if you don’t, we can help. Zoom is all about putting the power in your hands as an individual, and giving you the agency to decide how and when you want to see us—and who you want to see.”

Will I see the same provider every time?

The choice is yours.

“If you want to see the same Mental Health Specialist every time, you can.” Vanderlip explains. “We make that as easy as possible by allowing you to schedule appointments up to a month in advance. But if your provider gets sick or goes on vacation, then we have a whole team of mental health experts who can offer you insight and guidance.”

That’s interesting! What are some of the advantages of team-based healthcare?

It’s all part of making sure you get care soon as you need it—on demand.

“We have an intensive, team-based philosophy,” Vanderlip explains. “It’s part of how we provide better care. In traditional mental healthcare systems, you can call your doctor and leave them a message if you need anything. But in those systems, doctors burn out because they’re returning 50 phone calls a day. They never have enough time to focus on the person in front of them. When you see a ZOOM+Care provider, the focus is 100% on you and the time you’ve got together. Our providers are not distracted by something else—that’s one of the ways we provide really great healthcare—and it’s no different for mental health as well.”

What treatments does ZOOM+Care Mental Health offer?

That’s up to you, too.

“Our number one goal is to help you make sense of what’s happening to you, and then offer a range of treatment possibilities for you to consider. We help you understand the pros and cons of each treatment, then let you decide what sounds best,” Vanderlip says.

“If it’s therapy, we don’t do intensive psychotherapy within Zoom. However, we can connect you with a community partner that does. We can also direct you to great resources such as apps or books to personalize your approach to therapy. And in each visit, our team of fantastic mental health providers can infuse basic therapy principles to help you on your journey to recovery. If it’s medication, we can prescribe most medications. Our providers offer great advice and guidance on how to use medication to help you get over what you’re struggling with.”

So what you’re saying is, I’m in the driver’s seat?

Absolutely.

“We don’t want to be a big part of your life,” says Dr. Vanderlip. “We want to get you to a place where you feel better and functional, and then we want to get out of your hair. Our goal is to be as minimally invasive as possible—in many ways, we’re just your copilots in mental health. You’re calling the shots.”

Are there any treatments and medications you DON’T offer?

Yes. We don’t prescribe certain medications such as Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, or Ativan – commonly known as benzodiazepines. We’re also unable prescribe medication-assisted therapy for opioid use disorder such as methadone, buprenorphine or suboxone, and long-acting injectable antipsychotics like haloperidol decanoate and Abilify Maintena.

If you need stimulant medications like Adderall, Ritalin, amphetamine-dextroamphetamine, methylphenidate, Dexedrine, Vyvanse, we require an in-person Mental Health or Internal Medicine visit.

Curious about what conditions we treat (and how we treat them)? Learn more about what to expect from a ZOOM+Care Mental Health visit.

May is Mental Health Month. Here’s What Zoom is Doing to Support Mental Healthcare.

Scrabble tiles that spell out the words "mental health."

May is Mental Health Month: a time to raise awareness about mental healthcare and break down the stigma surrounding mental illness.

According to research from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. (46.6 million) experiences mental illness in a given year. Of those 46.6 million, only 41% will seek help due to stigma and fear of discrimination—and even fewer get will get the treatment they need.

At Zoom, we’re on a mission to change that statistic. We aim to make mental healthcare accessible, convenient, and judgement-free—not just this month, but every month.

Our philosophy is that mental illness is like any other medical illness. Mental health stigma is rooted in feelings of fear and embarrassment, and we want people to know there is no shame in finding a listening, caring guide. As Dr. Erik Vanderlip—Zoom’s Chief Medical Officer, as well as a board-certified psychiatrist—says, “Just like you’d go to the doctor for a sprained ankle, you can see a Mental Health Care professional for an assessment.”

Beyond eliminating stigma, Zoom strives to make mental healthcare ultra-accessible. We support a whole person approach to care, and want our patients to know that there is no wrong door for seeking help. “Getting mental healthcare shouldn’t be difficult,” Vanderlip reflects. “We have built extensive bridges between our everyday healthcare services and our mental health services. Some patients opt to begin their mental health journey at our Super clinic, some opt to begin with an Illness / Injury visit, and some go directly to our Mental Health specialists. The idea is, whatever door a patient walks through, they should be able to get great care for whatever stage of recovery they find themselves in.”

Lastly, we believe empowering patients with knowledge can go a long way in helping them take control of their mental health. “The goal of our Mental Health Services is to provide great guidance and advice, so patients can plug back into their lives. We want to give them the tools to feel better on their own,” says Dr. Vanderlip. “But whenever they feel stuck, they can dial us up. It’s all about empowering people to make decisions about their mental health. In many ways, we’re just copilots—the patient is the one in control.”

Curious about what conditions we treat (and how we treat them)? Learn more about what to expect from a ZOOM+Care Mental Health visit.

Looking for Hay Fever Hacks? Try These 12 Preventative Measures

Woman with dark hair sneezing.

Allergy season is here, and it came bearing gifts: watery eyes, scratchy throats, and uncontrollable bouts of sneezing, for starters. Whether you’ve struggled with pollen allergies your whole life or you’re feeling the effects for the first time (thanks to a particularly hellish season), there are ways to minimize your symptoms. Snuff out the sniffles with these tried-and-true hay fever hacks, vetted by our board certified care leaders:


► Filter your air.
Invest in a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter to trap pollen and provide allergy relief. Place it wherever you spend the most time, like your bedroom.

► Switch up your routine. Don’t bring allergens to bed with you. Shower at night so pollen winds up down the drain—not sticking to your sheets.

► Block it out. Wear sunglasses to keep allergens from getting into your eyes.

►Put Fido in the doghouse. Pet fur is a pollen magnet. Keep your four-legged friend off your bed to help reduce your exposure.

► And give him a bath, too.  Be sure to brush or wash your pet after they’ve been outdoors.

► Suck it up. Regularly vacuum your home, including curtains, drapes, bedding, and furniture.

► Don’t line dry. Avoid hanging sheets and clothes outside to dry. You’ll wind up capturing unwanted allergens and bringing them into your home.

► Mask it. When you clean, you kick allergens up into the air. During housework, wear a dust mask to limit your exposure.

► Mow? Just say no. Mowing your lawn is a great way to stir up pollen. If you can’t pay the kid next door to do it, wear a mask when you mow to protect your nose and eyes.

► Watch the weather. Keep an eye on the pollen count, and stay indoors on dry, windy days. Pro tip: A great time to go outside is right after it rains.

 Change it up. Been outdoors? To avoid spreading allergens around your home, leave your shoes at the front door and change your clothes as soon you get inside.

► Use a damp cloth when cleaning. Use damp, single-wipe dust rags to clean. A damp rag will trap allergens instead of knocking them into the air.  If you use reusable cleaning clothes, be sure to wash them in hot water after every use.

Looking for more allergy facts, hacks, and treatments? Find out how Zoom can help.

Allergy Season Is Getting Worse. It’s Not Your Imagination.

White flower surrounded by a cloud of pollen.

You’re walking around with a wad of tissues stuffed up your nose, you’re sneezing so much people have stopped saying ‘bless you,’ and every morning, you wake up to a layer of yellow pollen coating your car. If you’re feeling like allergy season sucks more and more each year, you’re not alone—and you’re not mistaken.

According to an article published by Lancet Planetary Health, climate change is, in fact, making allergy season worse. The study looked at data from 17 locations across three continents, dating back an average of 26 years. The conclusion is bad news for America’s 20 million allergy sufferers: thanks to rising temperatures, pollen loads and durations have been increasing over the past two decades. The higher carbon dioxide levels stimulate plants’ growth rates, which increases pollen production and creates a longer growing season.  In other words, we’re living in the perfect pollen storm—there’s more of it, and it’s going to stick around for even longer.

And unless carbon dioxide emissions start dropping dramatically, experts predict things will get worse—and not just for current allergy sufferers. The pollen uptick means people who don’t normally have pollen allergies may start to develop symptoms, too.

What can you do about spring allergies?

As pollen-plagued springs become the new norm, you may be wondering what you can do to avoid seasonal allergy symptoms. Before you move into a bubble full-time, try out a few  preventative allergy hacks, or schedule a same-day, no-wait visit at your neighborhood ZOOM clinic.

Manic One Day, Meh the Next? It’s Not Just You.

Letters spelling mood on swings

Zoomers in Portland and Seattle report rapidly cycling moods that have nothing to do with their love of bikes.

Consider what went through your head the last time someone casually asked how you’re doing.

Did time slow down as you debated five answers that ranged from “Great!” to a philosophical reflection on suffering and the human condition? Take heart — you’re not the only one stuck in a mental spincycle.

At ZOOM+Care, our mental health team is seeing more people struggling with mood swings. “The first thing I’m hearing is that people feel irritable and annoyed at everyone and everything,”  says Erik Vanderlip, MD MPH, Psychiatrist and Primary Care Lead at ZOOM+Care. “When we dig further, there’s a pattern of feeling highly productive and energetic or restless — almost manic — for a few days or weeks, followed by a period of draining doubt and frustration.”

It sounds a little like bipolar disorder, but it’s not that severe. “What we’re learning in the mental health field is that every condition exists on a spectrum,” says Dr. Vanderlip. “Changing moods can become disruptive to your well-being, relationships, and/or job without reaching the level of the most severe forms of bipolar disorder.”

Think of mental health issues the same way you would a cough: If it’s just a tickle in your throat that has minimal impact on your day, it’s no big deal. If it persists for two weeks and it’s bugging you at home and work, consider seeing a doc.

WHAT TO ASK YOURSELF:

  • Are the ups and downs getting disruptive? If your mood is putting stress on your relationships or making it harder to get things done at work, it’s time for a mental health check-up.
  • Are you still as resilient as you were before? When problems come up on down days, do you feel as capable of handling them as in the past? Or are you so checked out, you’ve lost your resolve to fix things?
  • Are you worried about how much you worry? There are a lot of rational things to be worried about, but if anxiety is becoming its own issue, talk to a doc.

WAYS TO MANAGE MOOD SWINGS ON YOUR OWN:

  • Keep a journal to track mood changes and their triggers.
  • Stay active — take short walks a few times a day.
  • Avoid skipping meals.
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule.
  • Breathe deeply in stressful moments.
  • Lean on friends you trust.

WHERE TO GET HELP:

At your neighborhood ZOOM+Care clinic – Schedule a same-day, no-wait visit for mental health.  “At Zoom, we make it super easy to get treatment for any health issue, whether it’s for your ankle, lungs, or frontal lobe,” says Dr. Vanderlip.  

Schedule Now

This Tide Pod Thing Is Going Too Far

No kid you know would purposely eat laundry detergent… would they? ZOOM+Care’s Lead Pediatrician Dr. Mark Banks prepares you for the worst-case scenario.

Maybe you’ve seen posts comparing travel-sized Tide packages to juice boxes, tips on making Tide Pod pizza, or a snapshot of the ravioli-like detergent packets garnished with herbs. It would be funny if kids all over the country — including Portland and Seattle — weren’t ending up hospitalized (or dead) after consuming detergent.

What started as a stupid internet joke is now serious enough to prompt the American Association of Poison Control Centers to issue an official High Alert for intentional exposures to detergent packets among 13 to 19 year olds. And YouTube is scrambling to delete any videos related to the Tide Pod Challenge.

The worst part is that if teens are messing with them, Tide Pods are more likely to end up in toddler’s hands. Last year, there were 10,570 reports of kids under the age of 5 coming in contact with the packets. Risks of ingestion include seizure, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest, coma, and death.

“Substances in laundry detergent can cause excruciating burns that penetrate and perforate the tissue of the throat and esophagus,” says Dr. Mark Banks, Lead Pediatrician at ZOOM+Care. “These pods have caused fatalities in small children, so it’s a big deal.”

WHAT TO DO NOW:

  • Keep detergents on a high shelf in their original packaging. If you live with kids, pets, or a cognitively-impaired adult, store them in a locked cabinet.
  • Warn your eye-rolling teenager. “Ask your kids what they think of these memes,” says Dr. Banks. “If they don’t acknowledge the danger themselves, be clear — it has killed people.”
  • Talk to other parents. It takes a village to keep kids from doing moronic things. Ask fellow parents what steps they take to keep children from jumping onto dangerous bandwagons.

WORST-CASE SCENARIO:

  • Call 911 immediately if… you know or suspect that someone has ingested laundry detergent and can see that they’re in distress. They may be holding their throat, choking, bleeding from the mouth, drooling, and/or having trouble breathing.

WHEN YOU’RE WORRIED:

WHERE TO GO:

Save these locations as favorites on google maps

——

ZOOM+Care

For all your care.

Same-day. No-wait Visits for Pediatrics, Primary Care, Urgent Care, and Specialty Care.

Schedule now

Portrait of Lead Pediatrician, Mark Banks, MD
Lead Pediatrician, Mark Banks, MD

Seen at Zoom: Growing Concern About Low Sex Drive

Zoom’s Lead Gynecologist Cynthia McNally, MD, is seeing more women in their 20s and 30s worried about low sex drive. Maybe a little too worried. Turns out, there’s a lot of confusion about what constitutes “normal” female libido.

Here are a few fascinating truths about female arousal that will put things in perspective — and help you decide if you need to see a doc.

Continue reading “Seen at Zoom: Growing Concern About Low Sex Drive”

Seen at Zoom: Handling Anti-Vaccine Conversations with Care

The number of parents choosing not to follow the CDC’s recommended vaccine schedule is growing, especially here in Oregon. We’re one of nine states with the largest percentage of unvaccinated infants and toddlers.

The anti-vaccine trend is putting pediatricians in a difficult spot. Should they keep unvaccinated kids in their practice or turn them away?

Continue reading “Seen at Zoom: Handling Anti-Vaccine Conversations with Care”

How We Zoom: Co-Founder & CEO Dave Sanders at TEDx Portland 2017

On April 15th, ZOOM+Care Co-Founder and CEO Dave Sanders took the stage at TEDx Portland to reveal the 3-part formula that has already begun to revolutionize healthcare. Watch the crowd-rallying talk or read the full transcript below.

Continue reading “How We Zoom: Co-Founder & CEO Dave Sanders at TEDx Portland 2017”

Seen at Zoom: Our Derm’s 5 Fave Sunscreens For Sensitive Skin

Crappy sunscreen makes you feel like you’re coated in Elmer’s glue. It can also irritate sensitive and acne-prone skin. Which is why many of us with skin issues often skip SPF altogether.

Of course we know we shouldn’t: Wearing sunscreen on the regular can lower risk of melanoma by 50-73%. We just need to find one we can tolerate.

To that end, we asked Zoom’s Lead Dermatologist Omar Qutub, MD, for his reigning favorites. If your current bottle, tube, stick, or aerosol SPF isn’t cutting it, check out this list.

Continue reading “Seen at Zoom: Our Derm’s 5 Fave Sunscreens For Sensitive Skin”