Riva: Anxiety and Depression

I am feeling more hopeful than ever!”

Anxiety and depression are common in BVMI patients. All struggle daily with the challenges of living in poverty. Many are immigrants who suffered trauma in their home country or on their journey to the US.  To ensure that patients receive the support they need, BVMI provides a mental health screening for every new patient and, when indicated, refers the patient to a mental health provider for care.

Patients like Riva, whose life has been shaped by trauma she suffered as a child. When she became a patient at BVMI last August, she was diagnosed with anxiety and severe depression. Riva immediately began meeting weekly with Sandra Alvarado, APN, BVMI’s bilingual mental health counselor, who prescribed medication to treat Riva’s depression. 

Initially, Riva denied any history of trauma, but after several meetings with Sandra, she began to open up about abuse she experienced more than 30 years ago at the hands of a close family member in Colombia. She thought that when bad things happened, it was her fault – leading to guilt and self-blame.  

Sandra and Riva began to explore how this childhood experience has affected her life.  Since that first visit, Riva has made great progress in reframing the way she sees herself. She now meets monthly with Sandra and her screening scores have improved dramatically. “I had never shared this story with anyone and never realized the effect the abuse had has on my life. Thanks to my time with Sandra, I am feeling more hopeful than ever.”

Share this post!