Innovative Mental Health Care in Nashville, TN: Dr. Scott West Discusses BrightQuest Treatment Centers
Dr. Scott West is the medical director at the new BrightQuest Treatment Center in Nashville, TN. In this interview, he discusses what BrightQuest brings to the mental health landscape in Tennessee as well as the benefits of individualized, residential mental health treatment versus hospitalization.
When families have a loved one who suffers from a complex mental health disorder, hope can seem out of reach. But hope is possible. Mental health disorders are entirely treatable—and treatment can restore your loved one’s quality of life in recovery.
Compassionate, reliable treatment must be available and accessible for families in order for us to make progress as a community. At BrightQuest, we are working to bring proven treatment methods together in a safe, welcoming environment for mental health resilience in Nashville, TN. Our clinicians and therapists are committed to steering treatment in the direction of each client’s individual needs and goals. The range of experience and resourcefulness of the various members of our staff means access to a greater number and wider variety of treatment options for recovery success in the context of close and consistent care.
Dr. Scott West is the medical director at BrightQuest Nashville. He leads a team of clinicians prepared to welcome clients who experience a wide range of mental health disorders and challenges. We asked Dr. West to help describe how BrightQuest’s holistic approach to care gives people the best chance of lasting recovery. His own hope is for clients to “gain more confidence, improve in their abilities, and move toward their goals.”
What Does BrightQuest Bring to the Mental Health Landscape in Nashville, TN?
Mental health disorders affect all communities and populations, but adequate care and support are not always available for those who need it. When asked about the state of mental health care in Nashville, TN, Dr. West reflected:
From what I hear from colleagues around the country, there’s no place that feels like it’s in great shape. In Tennessee, we have a tremendous need for more hospital beds. We have a tremendous need for more providers and for longer-term care—both the medical-psychiatric component and therapists. And there is a big gray area between the acute and the office-based care where we don’t have good longer-term residential care options in this state.
Too often, the approach to mental or behavioral distress is to stabilize a person and then move on to the next crisis. But this approach overlooks the need for new and effective coping skills that could set an individual up for a successful life in recovery.
Sometimes, we focus on the symptoms with certain approaches, but we need to go beyond just symptom control to help people function better. And the way to do that is to have life skills training, vocational training, social skills support, and facilitation of positive interactions with peers—as well as focused psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological approaches. Without the comprehensive nature of treatment, we’re not really giving people a full chance to reach their optimal functioning.
Dr. West reflects on the progress happening with mental health care at BrightQuest and other forward-thinking treatment centers:
Longer-term treatment that helps individuals be involved not just in pharmacological or psychotherapeutic interactions, but also in a continuum of social activities, socialization, developing better coping skills in a more intensive way, as well as movement into the next level of their life, whether that’s vocational or educational or relationship oriented.
Sustainable progress with mental health disorders opens doors to the future for each person. Treatment programs at BrightQuest realize the opportunities to do more than stabilize symptoms. With the right help, people with chronic mental health disorders can rediscover their own personal power and thrive in life.
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How Does Individualized Mental Health Treatment Surpass Hospitalization?
Dr. West has been practicing psychiatry for more than 30 years, and he has spent his entire career in Nashville. He has been involved in both inpatient and outpatient care, in private practice and in psychiatric hospitals around Nashville. Before becoming a medical director at BrightQuest, he was the medical director of the psychiatric unit at St. Thomas Hospital. He has been involved with various mental health agencies that advocate for—and actively generate—more effective and widespread mental health care.
I’ve tried to work collaboratively with other health providers—from the standpoint of primary care, but also with therapists, nutritionists, physical therapists. And I have seen the need for many people to have a more collaborative, comprehensive approach to care as opposed to an isolated interaction for this period of time and that’s it.
Unlike the treatment plans that you might expect from a hospital environment that focus on stabilization and symptom suppression just for the short term, comprehensive care calls on diverse and revolutionary methods to prepare someone for the rest of their life. At BrightQuest, some of these options include:
- A continuum of care that offers levels of treatment to meet clients where they are.
- Motivational interviewing that takes into account each client’s goals and generates productive engagement in treatment.
- Proven psychotherapy modalities that are selected to best suit an individual’s psychological and emotional needs and preferences. And these approaches go beyond symptom management to unravel persistent challenges and prepare them for a stronger future.
- Milieu therapy that leans on the powerful support system of peers also in recovery. Living and healing alongside peers give clients constant chances to build dynamic skills in communication, cooperation, problem-solving, emotional regulation, stress management, and even independence with generous support.
- Addiction recovery support through enlightened case management and counseling.
- Adventure therapy, which involves unique activities and challenges that allow clients to apply their learning. These may be team activities or fun outdoor adventures.
- Physical wellness training that capitalizes on the benefits of exercise for mental health and promotes empowerment and overall health and well-being of clients.
- Integrative wellness services, including complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage, yoga, reiki, and mindfulness exercises.
- Nutritional counseling and education that promote long-term empowered self-care by not only introducing clients to healthy, delicious meals but also teaching them how to manage their nutrition for greater well-being.
- Life skills training that is integrated into treatment programs to help clients develop positive coping mechanisms, social skills, and resilience throughout their lives.
- Family participation during treatment, which ensures that a client’s loved ones are also supported and prepared to navigate the progress and challenges to come.
Healing for mental and behavioral health does not happen in isolation. Together, we can support each other through challenges, uncover the very best treatment options for every individual, and empower people through community-based life skills development. Whereas hospitalization tends to permit very limited short-range goals, integrative treatment approaches can address the symptoms of a disorder or co-occurring disorders, as well as the many life factors that influence one’s mental health and well-being.
Dr. West and his compassionate team at BrightQuest Treatment Centers Nashville are interested in helping clients and families to help themselves—but with extended and generous support now and into the future. Here, we know that people struggling with mental health disorders want to reclaim their lives and to reach their goals, and we want to help them take back those possibilities.
BrightQuest Treatment Centers offer long-term residential treatment for people struggling with complex mental health disorders. Contact us to learn more about our renowned programs and how we can help you or your loved one start the journey toward recovery.