'Mental health is health': Dr. Gover talks about behavioral health care in the Coachella Valley
By Robert Hopwood
Mental health care is a significant need across the Coachella Valley.
In fact, according to a past community assessment, mental health services were identified as the greatest need for the Coachella Valley's LGBTQ+ community, says Dr. Jill Gover, known as "Dr. G," a licensed clinical psychologist and the director of Behavioral Health at DAP Health.
“Anxiety, depression and mood disorders are the major issues facing the LGBTQ+ and underserved communities currently. It has been a very difficult and challenging time," Dr. G says, referring to the recent pandemic.
For too many, COVID-19 painfully exposed how important it is to have competent mental health care available.
To have true wellness, a person needs to have both mental health and physical health, Dr. G says. They are integrated. Someone can't have one without the other.
"Mental health is health," Dr. G says.
“If someone breaks their arm, they go to the doctor,” she explains. “If they've got something going on emotionally, they also need to go to the doctor. It’s what you need to do to stay healthy," Dr. G says.
She strongly advises people to seek out mental health services if they need them. People should not let any stigma around mental health keep them from getting the help they need.
"It's so important for people to reach out and get the help they need when they need it," she says.
Don't let excuses get in the way of competent mental health care.
Clinicians and patients have many options available to help them overcome barriers and make treatment more accessible, Dr. G says. For example, people without reliable transportation can use telehealth for virtual visits.
"Wherever patients are, whatever they need, we're here to provide care and to help them," Dr. G says.
Dr. G likes to say that therapy is a gift people give themselves to promote their own wellbeing during times of stress. She describes it as a journey patients take with their therapist.
“Patients may start therapy with a lot of negative core beliefs that say, ‘I’m not good enough.’ Through the therapeutic process, they develop a new way of looking at the world and themselves,” she says.
"It is such a rewarding thing to witness," Dr. G says. "And therapy is truly transformational for many people, truly transformational."
According to Dr. G, DAP Health has a wonderful staff of well-trained clinical psychologists and licensed clinical social workers who provide compassionate, affirmative LGBTQ+ affirmative care.
She also is excited to announce the opening of the new Behavioral Health Clinic scheduled for September 2021. The new clinic will allow for additional staffing and expanded psychotherapy services. In addition, a partnership with UCR is bringing psychiatric services back to DAP Health, starting in July.
Sometimes it's difficult for people to reach out for help, Dr. G explains, especially when they are in a deep depression, highly anxious, or struggling with multiple life issues. Some people may not think they are worthy of help or know where to turn to get it.
"It's really important to recognize that DAP Health is just one phone call away," Dr. G says. "Pick up that phone and make that first call. And once you get to the services and start on this wonderful journey that I call therapy, great things will happen."
DAP Health can be reached at (760) 323-2118.