Owner and clinical psychologist Dr. Michael Turnbull, better known as Dr. Mike, says since 2016, the behavioral health clinic has provided therapy, mentoring and consultation services and specializes in the treatment of women, children and families. When the medical clinic opened its doors in 2018, The Wellness Center became a “one-stop-shop” for health and wellness, where women, at the various stages in their lives, can be catered to.
This feature gives four perspectives on women’s wellness from the four specialists at The Wellness Center –Dr. Mike, Clinical Psychologist; Ms. Jane Murrihy, Child and Educational Psychologist; Dr. Jardine Torno, Psychiatrist; and Dr. Sharlon Lewis, General Practitioner who specializes in obesity management.
“From a psychology perspective we want to ensure women do things to take care of themselves holistically. It’s great to look physically well outside but what are they doing for their own wellbeing, making sure that they are able to define their own happiness, their own purpose, to be able to heal,” said Dr. Mike.
“We are here because we want women to live well. At The Wellness Center, we want women to have a healthy sense of self and self-esteem, as we make them more resilient to trauma.”
The psychologist explained the need to focus on women’s health because a woman’s wellbeing impacts the children, spouse and entire family unit. According to Dr. Mike, women have higher rates of dying from heart disease and certain types of cancers, along with higher rates of depression and anxiety.
He also highlighted that globally, women make up over 60-percent of the 300 million persons suffering with depression. This is, he said, is important to note, considering women serve many capacities within society, adding, “If you want to cripple any society, then you attack the women, as they spend most of the time raising and mentoring kids, who in turn would pick up the women’s behaviors.”
“Women need to be able to check on themselves, be able to find ways to share with others, build happiness and create places of escape within these turbulent times because their overall wellbeing depends on it.”
Dr. Mike said that The Wellness Center is a confidential space with empathetic doctors and other staff who care about your overall wellbeing, adding, “We are using evidence based, scientific methods, but also that human touch to allow you to get through the challenges you’re facing.”
“Women in families play a more integral role in the development of their children, more so than their partners,” says Ms. Jane Murrihy, Child Psychologist at The Wellness Center.
Jane, who works with children and adolescents, says, “No one knows their children better than the parents, and likely if mom is spending the majority of time with her children, she knows her child best.”
“We recognize that in order to get the best out of children, we have to work with parents,” explaining that women, or moms, provide support to children’s social, emotional, behavioral, and educational needs, which means they tend to bear more of the mental load when it comes to child rearing.
When working with children, while every family is unique, Jane knows that providing support to mothers is paramount in helping children. She said that her role is to provide guidance and a strategy for moms so that they can effectively provide support to their children.
“If I’m giving a diagnosis, whether a learning disability or other conditions, I advise moms to look after themselves. To take time for yourself, go over all the information you have, to help transition from the child you thought you have, to the child you have. This is key in understanding your child’s specific developmental needs.”
Jane also encourages mothers to trust their intuition, adding, “If any way worried, if you are concerned, please come in and see me. If it’s daunting or scary, my role is to support you in a confidential space, and know that whatever I do is to benefit the child, the mom and family.”
“Women in general are more prone to depression and mood disorders because of their hormonal levels,” says Dr. Jardine Torno, Psychiatrist. Dr. Jardine diagnoses hormonal disorders and prescribes medication to treat any imbalances. He explained that in diagnosing women, hormonal levels play an integral role.
“This is the uniqueness of treating a woman,” adding, “We have to take hormonal imbalance as a consideration, aside from the psychosocial factors. When a woman presents with a problem, we don’t necessarily diagnose with a mental condition right away.”
Dr. Jardine also warned that seeing medical professionals who don’t have that much experience may only look at a woman’s issues as a mental condition, instead of looking at other factors, which is why sometimes women are prescribed the wrong medication, or are taking medication they don’t need.
At the clinic, Dr. Jardine tailors treatment on an individual patient basis, and may request for labs to be done to check for hormonal imbalances. After a thorough check, Dr. Jardine would then talk to his patients about psychiatric medications, the different types of treatments, benefits and side effects.
Dr. Jardine also explained that he also co-manages patients with the other specialists at the clinic, as they work together to treat the “whole patient”.
“We are a one stop shop, having on staff a medical doctor, psychologists and a psychiatrist. Here you have the advantage of seeing specialists with experience in dealing with a plethora of health and wellness issues.”
Dr. Sharlon Lewis, General Practitioner, specializing in obesity management, heads up the medical clinic. In helping women on their weight loss journey, Dr. Sharlon explained that many things are considered, including a woman’s mental health. Both stress and depression, she says, are key in understanding the ability to control her weight.
Dr. Sharlon designs weight management strategies based on a client’s individual needs, and sometimes works alongside Dr. Jardine who can prescribe certain medication for weight loss, especially in cases where a woman’s hormones, depression or stress may affect her weight.
“Weight is a very sensitive topic that affects and reflects on other aspects of their life,” says Dr. Sharlon. She said that after treating several hundred patients, she has gained a vast amount of knowledge and is more equipped to help patients regain the control they need, that can transfer to other aspects of their life, whether it be their career, romantic relationships or even parenting.
“I’m not just making them pretty; my aim is to help them achieve a better quality of life, over a long term.”
Aside from weight management, Dr. Sharlon also provides cancer screening services along with dealing with vaginal complaints. She highlighted that many women feel more comfortable with a female physician, because she shares the same anatomy, and would be more familiar with what the patient came to discuss.
Dr. Sharlon says her overarching goal is to have women prioritize self-care, just as they do their physical health. “I want to empower women to take better control of their health. Taking care of yourself is not selfish, it’s necessary.”
Make an appointment with a specialist by contacting The Wellness Center Behavioral via telephone 442-4357 or email email@example.com.