• Printer Friendly Version

Expanding to Meet Behavioral Health Needs

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health is a critical part of overall health and wellness. It’s important to know that mental illness can affect any one; a family member, a friend or even a coworker. Be sure to make healthy choices for both your physical and mental well-being and ask for help when needed.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, one in five people in the U.S. has a diagnosable, and treatable, mental health condition. Further, statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) suggest there are millions of Americans who are experiencing emotional pain, depression or anxiety and who are not seeking or receiving treatment.

CalvertHealth provides behavioral health services through its primary care network, inpatient hospitalization, and the Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) which is an intense, structured day treatment setting.

Expanding Behavioral Health Care in Calvert

This year, CalvertHealth Medical Center (CHMC) will begin renovating its Behavioral Health Unit to meet the growing needs of its adult and adolescent residents as well as those in surrounding counties.

“As the sole provider of inpatient behavioral health services in Calvert County, updating the patient areas and services we offer will allow us to meet the growing need for emergency and short-term mental health care,” said Jennifer L. Messix, BSN, RN-BC, the unit’s new director.

The 12-month renovation is anticipated to cost more than $5 million and is partially funded through an award of a $1.7 bond grant through the state of Maryland under the Maryland Hospital Association’s bond project program– the largest grant ever awarded to an individual organization. CalvertHealth will match those funds with a portion being raised by philanthropy.

The project will reconfigure the existing Behavioral Health floor into two wings: one for adolescents 13-17 years old and one for adults. Both wings will have inpatient rooms, dining and social areas, consultation rooms, staff facilities and areas for outpatient use.

What is Behavioral Health?

Behavioral health addresses mental health issues including depression and anxiety. The Behavioral Health Team at CHMC is prepared to manage a wide variety of conditions.

In 2016, the CHMC emergency department saw 1,386 mental health cases. In 2018, that number was 1,565 and is expected to continue to rise due to factors such as life stressors, substance abuse and bullying, said Messix.

When someone with a behavioral health emergency is taken to the ER in crisis, he or she is evaluated by a physician and by a member of emergency psychiatric services, which is comprised of licensed social workers/counselors, before being admitted for inpatient care, partial hospitalization or discharged with a follow-up plan in place.

Inpatient to Partial Hospital Program (PHP) Care

“The goal, with an individual in crisis is to stabilize the patient through inpatient care first and then immediately follow up with CHMC’s Partial Hospital Program or other outpatient treatment options,” said Messix.

The PHP program is an intense, structured day program where a team of nurses, social workers, mental health professionals, counselors and a psychiatrist are able to make individualized treatment plans, adjust medications and guide one-on-one and group therapy sessions, including family meetings. The PHP program operates from 8:30 a.m.- 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The CHMC Behavioral Health team collaborates on the care for each patient during their stay and prior to discharge to ensure the patient is working to meet his or her goals.

“I am very proud of the compassionate care that our Behavioral Health and Emergency Psychiatric Services teams provide our patients,” said Messix.

back to top button