DEARBORN — Mental health has become a bigger issue than at any time in recent memory for millions of Americans, a challenge that the country’s mental health professionals are mobilizing to take on in full force.
Among them is Shady Shebak, a 33-year-old psychiatrist who recently opened Core Psych, PLLC on Dearborn’s west side, with a goal of providing a holistic approach to mental health issues in every type of patient — ranging from adolescents to youths, adults and geriatric patients.
Shebak’s office provides a full staff of certified health professionals, culturally sensitive and inclusive care for patients and a focus on providing a place where people can heal from all types of mental health issues.
“I think mental health has become a big topic all across the country,” Shebak told The Arab American News. “We’re part of that society, of course.”
While people are talking about their problems more often than usual in today’s society, professional help can provide a more effective form of relief.
“Sometimes the community makes you think that if you’re suffering from something, you become the poster child or an activist,” Shebak said. “That’s unnecessary; the most important thing is to seek help if you need it.”
Shebak’s office includes three therapists, a psychologist who handles testing, a physician’s assistant, clinical pharmacist and several interns and medical students who come through and rotate throughout the clinic. Treatment approaches include talk therapy, medication and physical therapy. The office strives to avoid prescribing any form of medication that could lead to addiction unless it’s absolutely necessary (for a short period of time in these cases).
Shebak is board certified in psychiatry and studied at the University of Michigan-Dearborn before completing his residency training at Virginia Tech University and Michigan State University.
He worked at several hospitals before deciding to bring his current practice to Dearborn to serve the local community. Shebak has also been active in creating awareness about mental health services through the MOVE (Movement for Outreach-Volunteerism-Education) charity, of which he is the founder and chairman.
His practice provides support of all kinds for people who want to get better.
“People don’t have to share their personal stories if they don’t want to,” he said, noting the wide variety of therapies available. “We can respect their privacy and their culture.”
“If you’re suffering or struggling with mental health, reach out to a physician, cleric, family and friends, but especially a doctor and your family for mental health or for substance abuse,” he said.
The standard protocol is to ask prospective patients a few questions about their past social history and any potential physical abuse or substance abuse.
Shebak said that the most common problems that are diagnosed and treated in the clinic include common depression and anxiety disorders. Arab American patients are often struggling with issues related to their tensions with their parents, questions about their religious, cultural and linguistic identities and other issues related to living as immigrants in the Metro Detroit area.
His wife, Henda AlBiatty, whom Shebak called the company’s “driving force”, also serves as administrator and works to build relationships and networks with local physicians. It’s all done with the goal of providing the best treatment possible for Core Psych’s patients.
“In many clinics there isn’t any judgment, it’s all very patient-centered,” Shebak said. “The most important thing is to come in with the mindset that I’m going to be honest with this person” to ensure the best treatment.
Core Psych takes all major insurances and Shebak said that no one is turned down due to hardship, although some people seeking medications they don’t need may be turned down.
The first consultation is free.