What to Expect at Your First Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center Appointment
At the Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center, we offer psychological support and mental health care for patients and families throughout all stages of their heart journey based on their individual needs. For one family, this could mean one appointment every now and then. For another, it could be a series of appointments over time. Whatever your needs are, we will help you thrive as you face challenges and celebrate even small victories.
When you have an appointment with the Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center, you can expect that:
- We will treat you with respect, dignity, empathy and compassion.
- We will honor your privacy.
- We will offer you high-quality, evidence-based care.
- We will tailor our approach to meet your and your family’s needs.
- We will work as a team with you and your other healthcare providers.
- We will track outcomes so we can continually improve the care we offer.
Here you’ll find information to help you prepare for your first appointment and know what to expect.
Making an Appointment with the Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center
To Make an Appointment
To make and appointment at the Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center, please contact us.
Families may also be referred to us by their provider. Once we receive your referral, we’ll reach out to you to schedule an appointment.
You’ll receive a call from our program coordinator to help you pre-register and schedule your appointment. This typically takes place one or two weeks before your first visit. Our program coordinator will provide information about the appointment and inquire about any assistance you may need.
Preparing for Your VisitFor your visit, please bring:
- Insurance information
If anything else is needed, our coordinator will let you know during your pre-appointment call.
Worries About Your First Visit?
It can be a big step to reach out for help and it can be hard to know what kind of support you need. We will help you each step of the way. If you or your child are feeling worried or anxious about your visit, please call us. A conversation with one of our experts will often go far to ease any worry about an upcoming appointment.
On the Day of Your Visit with the Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center
Before Your Appointment
We ask that you arrive in the clinic 15 minutes before your appointment. Our center is part of the Burnet Campus, which is a large facility. Please allow 15 minutes to park and walk to our offices.
Please contact us if you are running late for your appointment.
At Your Appointment
Our clinic is designed to be warm, private and therapeutic for patients and family members of all ages. For children, this includes space for therapeutic play with toys, arts and crafts, and other child-friendly resources. We strive to create a comfortable environment for patients of any age.
Your first visit typically includes:
- Time to talk about what has brought you to see us
- Questions to learn more about you and how we can help
- Review of questionnaire findings, if completed
- Initial treatment planning and recommendations
During your visit, you may meet with one or more of our team of experts:
- Psychologist: Our psychologists specialize in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of people of all ages with congenital heart disease. We offer evidence-based approaches tailored to your and your family’s needs, including therapies for those experiencing anxiety, depression, traumatic stress, parenting stress, or other difficulties related to congenital heart disease or medical care. Our psychologists provide care during periods of wellness or poor health, and during times of stress or uncertainty. We help patients and families cope when situations, thoughts or feelings become overwhelming. We also have expertise in supporting parenting and parent-child bonding and relationships, and we work closely with our specialized Neurodevelopmental and Educational Clinic.
- Child Life Specialist: Our child life specialists provide education and support for patients and families throughout their health care, with a goal of easing stress and promoting choice wherever possible. Positive coping is promoted by offering support before, during and after medical procedures, as well as familiar activities such as routines, play, art, creative activities, and celebration of special events during hospital stays. We also provide developmentally attuned education and interventions to help children understand their healthcare experiences, as well as tours before surgery or hospital stays, and memory-making and bereavement support.
- Social Worker: Our social workers provide emotional support, counseling and strategies for patients and families as they navigate the challenges that can occur throughout their heart care journey. This includes a focus on the unique needs and preferences of each individual child, adult or family. We can provide assistance connecting with resources when financial, transportation or housing needs arise. Our social workers also play an important role supporting and coordinating communication between patients, families and healthcare team members.
Together, we will work with you, building on your strengths and resilience. We also work closely with your cardiac providers to ensure comprehensive and integrated care.
The first visit usually lasts about 50 minutes. This may vary depending on the reason for the referral.
Before leaving, you will receive an after-visit summary.
After Your Visit with the Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center
Next steps are tailored to each individual patient and family depending on your specific needs and preferences.
In some instances, treatment options may be discussed with the multidisciplinary Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center team after your appointment. If this is the case, we will let you know more through a follow-up appointment, letter or MyChart communication. This generally takes place within one week of your initial visit.
Referring physicians will also receive an after-visit summary to support comprehensive care.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be a patient at Cincinnati Children’s to use this center?
The Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center is available to new Heart Institute patients and families as well as those who are already Cincinnati Children’s patients.
Is this service covered by insurance?
In most cases, yes. We can help you work with your insurance company to determine what services your insurance provider covers. If you have questions about insurance, please call 513-636-4427.
Will these services be available through telehealth?
Video visits, also called telehealth visits, may be an option. We want to be as accessible to you as possible. We will work with you to determine if in-person or telehealth appointments best meet your needs. Other factors, like insurance coverage, may also be considered. Our telehealth appointments use a free, secure software application with video and voice data encrypted, so privacy is fully protected.
What happens if a child or teen refuses to attend the appointment?
If this occurs, we may offer to meet with the child or teen’s caregiver to better understand their child’s experience and work together to develop a tailored plan to support next steps.