With the arrival of fall, many may find their thoughts turning to seasonal wellness. While we all know the basics for optimum physical health — eating healthy, getting enough rest, staying hydrated and regular exercise — emotional and mental wellness should not be overlooked. Unfortunately, many people experience anxiety and depression more often this time of year with shorter daylight hours and the stress of the holiday season.
Over a year ago, Evolve Health opened their Bend clinic offering cutting edge treatment options for patients with chronic illnesses, mental health issues, along with therapies that address overall health and wellness. According to Evolve Health Clinic Director Allison Jones, MN, FNP, “Our first clinic opened in Portland about four years ago and we had a couple of patients from Bend driving over 1-2 times per week for treatment. We saw a need here.”
Evolve Health provides IV therapy options including IV Ketamine, IV Hydration therapy and intranasal Spravato (esketamine). The Evolve team focuses on emotional wellness and the treatment of a variety of mental health diagnoses, including anxiety and depression, for patients who have had very minimal or temporary success with other allopathic treatments, including antidepressants and psychotherapy.
“This is not a quick fix or silver bullet,” explains Jones. “If antidepressants and therapy work, that may be a great option. But, if that doesn’t work, and people are in a really dark place and cannot function in daily life the way they want to, then this is a really good option, and we often see people turn around very quickly.”
Typical IV Ketamine treatment is 4-6 infusions in a three-week window, then spacing them further apart. With Spravato (esketamine) intranasal therapy, patients have to commit to treatments twice a week for four weeks, then once a week for four weeks. Treatment schedules thereafter will vary with each patient. Behind the spa-like setting with clean, comfortable, private rooms, is a medical clinic that offers a safe environment and close, continual observation by clinical providers.
A medical diagnosis from a primary care provider or psychiatric provider and a referral are necessary for most treatment options offered at Evolve Health. “We take referrals for treatment, but we do accept self-referrals as well because we have psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners on staff,” Jones states.
Along with IV Ketamine and Spravato nasal spray treatments, Evolve Health also offers IV Hydration therapy. This therapy option offers a unique blend of fluids, electrolytes, vitamins and anti-oxidants, to enhance wellness and treat a wide range of chronic illnesses, exhaustion and stress.
Evolve Health’s patients come from all walks of life, from a variety of demographics. “Ketamine can be used to treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders, and bipolar disorder, among other mental health conditions, including end-of-life emotional concerns,” explains Jones. “Across the board, mental health is underserved,” says Jones. “There are just not enough resources. We are here to hopefully bridge that gap for some patients in Bend and surrounding areas.”
"Our patients report feeling lighter after treatments, as if a heaviness is gone,” says Jones. “What happens is they get a little lift from the treatments and that allows them to access and take advantage of the other things that allow them to have a good quality of life and live a healthy lifestyle, like communicating with family and friends, getting out of the house, showering, eating better, maintaining or gaining employment, attending therapy more regularly. So, that is the wellness that is our goal,” she adds.
“What sets us apart is the unconditional acceptance and respect patients get when they come here. We meet patients where they are, and for those who are just in a dark hole and need a hand up, that’s what they find here,” Jones concludes.