Behavioral health and wellness in Aurora, Colorado

Being in touch with yourself is imperative for your mental health and well-being, but sometimes life can get in the way. More than 25 percent of people will experience varying degrees of mental and emotional struggles at some point in their lives. Know that you are not alone, and that it is very common to seek help for these issues.

At The Medical Center of Aurora’s Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, our unique approach to working toward mindfulness and resiliency can help you achieve a balanced life. We consider emotional, physical and medical issues, using therapies and counseling to treat the whole person through various stages of life. Our program includes mental health care for children, teens, adults and seniors.

Make your mental health a priority and call our Behavioral Health and Wellness Center team today at (303) 360-3650.

The mind triggers physical symptoms just as physical illness can cause emotional distress. There are a variety of factors that affect our well-being, including:

  • Aging
  • Daily stress and worry from work, relationships or other factors
  • Feeling emotions more intensely
  • The effects of society on self-perception
  • Sensations of depression or anxiety

How we help

Our goal is to help you improve your day-to-day interactions with the world. Many people believe they have to know exactly what they need before they reach out for help. At The Medical Center of Aurora, you can come in when you want to determine what you need. Our number one goal is to help you achieve a sense of happiness and growth in all that you do.

Our team of behavioral health specialists is dedicated to working with patients throughout their entire lives when behavioral health treatment is needed. Benefits from our program include:

  • Direct admissions are available with onsite level-of-care assessments
  • See a psychiatrist within 24 hours of entering a program
  • Walk-in help/doctors are available 24/7
  • Both inpatient and outpatient treatment plans are developed with you and your significant others
  • Daily treatment planning
  • Specialized programs for every age group
  • Daily group sessions
  • Medication management available in all levels of care
  • Music, art and recreational therapy is used in all programs

Our behavioral health team

We build a community of support around you as soon as you enter our care. Our comprehensive behavioral health team is staffed by licensed master’s-level clinicians and board-certified psychiatrists and is supported by a multidisciplinary team of behavioral analysts, social workers, mental health counselors, music, art, physical and occupational therapists, nurses, and psychologists.

Our mental health impacts the way we interact with the world around us. Our treatment programs empower patients by helping them develop coping mechanisms designed to improve resiliency in their daily life, as well as skills to improve their ability to function.

Behavioral health symptoms we treat

You don’t have to self-diagnose to realize that you may not be mentally or emotionally “tuned up” and able to balance all of life’s stressors.

Our trained and caring staff are here to help you understand your feelings and ways to improve mindfulness and resiliency that will improve your quality of life.

Some of the most common behavioral health symptoms we treat include:

  • Behavioral or emotional difficulties
  • Difficulty fully expressing emotion
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Feeling emotions more intensely
  • Feeling overwhelmed and directionless
  • Inability to care for yourself
  • Inability to focus
  • Loss of a job or loved one
  • Major changes in personality
  • Overcoming anxiety and sadness
  • Overcoming trauma
  • Reduced ability to manage stress
  • Self-injury
  • Social isolation and withdrawal
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

Treating the whole patient

Accompanying this approach are our clinical services and mental health resources. Behavioral health treatment options include group, recreational and occupational therapy, family conferences, counseling, medication education and psychiatric evaluations. We also partner with outside support systems to ensure each individual’s path to mental health is supported in the ways that are needed most.

We continue to extend our services to individuals even after they leave our facilities. Whichever path to wellness you or a loved one choose to pursue, we provide support throughout the entire process and beyond.

We offer these specialized programs:

If you or someone you know may benefit from a behavioral health plan, contact our team for an assessment. We offer medical, nursing, psychiatric, psychosocial and functional assessments, as well as activity therapy screening and neuropsychological evaluation (when ordered by a psychiatrist)

Adult behavioral health in Aurora

The comprehensive inpatient psychiatric program at the Behavioral Health and Wellness Center at The Medical Center of Aurora is designed to meet the mental and physical healthcare needs of adults between 18 and 62 years old. Our caring staff of professionals believes that every patient, no matter his or her individual circumstances, has the capacity to learn and use coping methods to help them lead a balanced life.

Our program includes:

  • A skilled team of physicians, social workers, nurses, psychologists and behavioral health counselors
  • Music, recreation, leisure arts and pet therapies
  • Semi-private and private rooms
  • Individualized treatment plans
  • Medication management and assessment
  • An emphasis on family education

Our adult clinical services

We focus on identifying challenges and providing individualized treatment to prepare you or your loved one to succeed in a community setting. Our adult mental health and wellness treatment services specialize in evidence-based intervention and stabilization of behavioral health conditions. We provide personalized, dedicated care in a comfortable setting, while having full access to the exceptional medical care at The Medical Center of Aurora.

Whether participating in our inpatient or outpatient programs, our team of professionals partner with each patient and his or her outside support system to design a behavioral health treatment plant that will instill mindfulness and resiliency to help bring balance back to the patient’s life.

Our mental wellness programs for adults can help with:

  • Crisis management
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Development of daily living skills
  • Medication assessment
  • Psychiatric symptoms that significantly impair social, occupational or other important areas of functioning
  • Self-injury
  • Substance use and other addictions
  • Trauma

We address the patient’s unique mental health needs using a customized plan that may utilize some of the following methods:

  • Group and individual therapy
  • Family support groups
  • Educational groups
  • Loss management and relapse strategies
  • Developing coping strategies
  • Medication assessment
  • Group and individual follow-up treatment
  • 24/7 coverage by board-certified physicians

Patterns signaling the need for assistance

Behaviors that signal the need for help include:

  • Major change in personality
  • Difficulty managing intense emotions
  • Anxiety
  • Hopelessness
  • Disruptions in daily activities, such as inability to socialize, work or perform daily tasks
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Hallucinations or paranoid delusions that disrupt functioning
  • Inability to adjust to life changes or recover from traumatic events, such as the loss of a relationship or job

Intensive outpatient program

Our intensive outpatient program (IOP) is designed to support and maintain mental and emotional health while providing patients with the necessary tools to achieve mental wellbeing in an outpatient setting.

IOP empowers you or a loved one to explore individual growth and heal within a group setting by participating in treatment during the day and returning home each afternoon.

The Medical Center of Aurora’s IOP is appropriate for individuals struggling with:

  • Substance abuse
  • Crisis management
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Management of daily living skills
  • Medication management
  • Self-injury

To address these mental health issues and others, IOP participants receive a wide array of structured therapy, including:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy focusing on mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness
  • Trauma informed therapy
  • Dual diagnosis therapy
  • Interpersonal effectiveness training
  • Life skills

This program is for individuals who are physically healthy and are of no immediate risk of harm to themselves or others. IOP can help you or a loved one better cope with challenging or difficult feelings and thoughts while functioning in an outpatient setting.

Meetings take place Monday through Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at The Medical Center of Aurora and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Centennial Medical Plaza.

Partial hospitalization program

Our partial hospitalization program (PHP) provides an intense, structured setting for individuals who have difficulty maintaining current daily routines due to depression, anxiety or other mental health symptoms, and who could benefit from intensive, immediate, outpatient support and an evaluation by a psychiatrist.

This patient-centered treatment program provides flexible treatment options that are less intensive than an inpatient hospitalization while being more supportive than outpatient therapy alone.

The program also offers treatment at both TMCA and Centennial Medical Plaza Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., to allow for the convenience of being home with loved ones in the evening.

PHP treatment includes:

  • Patient-centered goal setting and treatment planning
  • Psychiatric consultation
  • Medication evaluation
  • Group, individual and family interventions
  • Life skills practice opportunities
  • Evidence-based recovery models

We conduct pre- and post-evaluations to determine the success of treatment interventions so that ongoing treatments can be adjusted to best meet patient needs.

For more information or to schedule an assessment, call (303) 360-3650.

Electroconvulsive therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a proven method to help adults who face challenges achieving mental well-being. It is especially beneficial to patients who do not respond well to medications, who may be pregnant or who are experiencing a rapid regression into crisis.

ECT is very different now compared to how it was used in the past.

Today, a team of professionals, including a psychiatrist, an anesthesiologist and a nurse, administer ECT while the patient is under general anesthesia. Modern ECT consists of controlled, electrical currents that affect brain chemistry in a way that can improve mental health. The number of treatments needed to be successful can vary according to the individual.

Who may benefit?

  • Patients who suffer from depression, mania or psychosis and who have not responded or only partially responded to conventional treatment such as medications and therapy
  • Patients who have had multiple hospitalizations and regress rapidly into crisis
  • Patients in need of rapid, definitive response because of the severity of a psychiatric or medical condition
  • Patients experiencing symptoms of catatonia
  • Patients who cannot tolerate the side effects of certain medications

Our Physicians

Samrit Brar, MD

Psychiatrist - Adult Services
School: Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine
Residency: University of Texas Health Sciences at San Antonio
Specialties: Adult psychiatr


Erin Smith, MD

Psychiatrist - Adult Services & Outpatient Services
School: Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport
Residency: Arkansas State University
Specialties: Adult psychiatry