By Michelle Talsma Everson
Photos by Flying Robot @FRaerials

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many mental health professionals have noted that factors like stress, quarantine, and more have made mental health issues even harder to deal with. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in a June study, discovered that 40 percent of adults reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse. The professionals at Uptown Psychiatry want those suffering from mental illness to know that they don’t have to struggle alone—that help is out there—and it can be personal and approachable, too.

Open since May 2019, Uptown Psychiatry is a boutique psychiatry office that is home to practitioners Brooke Morrow, PA-C, and Charlie Rounds, PA-C. Both have been practicing psychiatric care for years and have a breadth of experience. At Uptown, they treat a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, ADHD/ADD and opioid addiction. They also see patients dealing with alcohol addiction, PTSD, insomnia, and post-partum depression.

Rounds has 12 years experience as a physician assistant, and has an additional board certification in psychiatry. He brings a broad scope of expertise in emergency medicine, general psychiatry, and addiction medicine. For those battling substance abuse, he has extensive specialty training and expertise in the outpatient treatment of opioid use disorder utilizing medications such as buprenorphine (Suboxone) and Vivitrol in combination with psychotherapy.

Morrow has been providing psychiatric care for the past 14 years. She has experience working with children, adolescents and adults in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She is devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, study and treatment of mental health disorders. She has broad training in the assessment and management of mental health disorders and brings extensive experience treating a wide variety of psychiatric disorders such as mood disorders, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and ADHD. Most importantly, she has a unique ability to connect and communicate with her patients, creating an immediate sense of ease and confidence, which encourages a collaborative approach to assessment and treatment.
Both Morrow and Rounds note that they offer a boutique style psychiatry experience with comprehensive evaluations and personalized treatment plans. They have a passion for their patients, with the overall goal to help patients live a life not constrained by mental illness. They do their best to eliminate stigma, ensure confidentiality, and provide individualized treatment. Unlike other “big box” style psychiatry offices, they take the time to explain what the options are and what to expect as patients get started. Treatment plans are specifically tailored for patients’ maximum benefit and satisfaction.

“We’re different from a big practice because we offer a very personal experience for the patient,” Morrow says.

“In a bigger practice, a patient might be bounced around from person to person, but we prefer to develop an ongoing relationship with our patients,” Rounds adds.

At Uptown Psychiatry, Morrow explains that they provide medication management to patients diagnosed and experiencing mental illnesses. Patients can be referred to them by their doctors or many have found them through word of mouth and online searches and reviews. Their practice treats all ages—from children to adults—pretty much anyone dealing with mental health issues, Rounds explains.

“We want to get the word out that there are different psychiatry practice options out there, and that you don’t have to struggle or be alone,” Rounds adds.

“We both are very personable and I feel like we provide more time than a typical psychiatry office,” Morrow says. “We want to make sure that the patient doesn’t feel rushed and that we have ample time for a treatment plan, goal setting, and looking into all of the modalities of treatment possible. You will also always see the same provider.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic mixed in with people’s busy schedules, both Morrow and Rounds share that they do their best to make appointments as flexible and safe as possible. “We offer virtual appointments, have a limited amount of patients in the office, and of course require masks,” Rounds explains.

“We are also very responsive; we do our best to reply to patients right away when they have questions in between appointments,” Morrow adds.

Since their practice emphasizes accessibility to everyone, Uptown Psychiatry is patient-paid and does not take insurance. Instead, their visits are affordable and qualify for FSA and HSA expenses. “We’re also a paper-free practice, so that makes it easier on the patient, too,” Morrow says.

“We’ve been doing virtual appointments before they were cool,” Rounds says. “There are quite a few healthcare companies offering virtual appointments, but they are usually one-off appointments without the opportunity to development a strong therapeutic relationship. Assessing and treating mental health concerns is a fluid process that evolves over several visits. We use a secure application for messaging and video visits and have perfected the experience so it doesn’t feel awkward or new. Our primary goal with Uptown is to make an uncomfortable topic feel as natural and comfortable as possible. Virtual appointments play a big part because they allow patients to interact in wherever they are most comfortable without having to fight traffic or travel across town or even the state to get to the office.”

So how does someone know if they should make an appointment with Uptown Psychiatry? Oftentimes, patients who contact them have been experiencing mental health concerns for a while but have not known where to look for help. “Most often, by the time a patient is sitting in front of me, they need to be there,” Morrow says. “We want those struggling with mental health issues to know that life does not have to be so difficult.”

To schedule an appointment, locals can visit their website at uptownpsychiatry.com, review the list of mental health issues that they treat, and schedule an evaluation, Rounds explains.

“We are so passionate about providing a comforting and personal experience for our patients because we have seen patients at other practices who get lost in the shuffle of providers,” Morrow says.

“Especially during COVID-19, if you’re struggling with a mental illness, don’t lose connection or hope,” Rounds adds. “If you’re dealing with anxiety and uncertainty, we can help provide the tools to navigate that.”

For those who may not be future patients, they still likely know someone who can use the help offered at Uptown Psychiatry.

“Even if you’re not struggling with a mental illness yourself, you likely know someone who is,” Rounds says. “We want to be a resource for them so they don’t have to navigate the healthcare system. We want to make treatment for mental health issues a comfortable and positive experience.”

Uptown Psychiatry is located at 1130 E. Missouri Avenue, Suite 580, in Phoenix. Learn more by visiting uptownpsychiatry.com. You can also call them at 480-542-8202 or reach out via e-mail at hello@uptownpsychiatry.com.