Memorial Health workers break down ‘stigmas’ surrounding mental health

Health News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Staff at Memorial Health say one in four adults in the United States has a diagnosable mental health condition.

Healthcare workers said conditions during the pandemic are causing even more people to struggle with anxiety and depression.

“I wanted to stop hurting. I attempted to take my life, rushed to the hospital and found out that I wouldn’t be able to walk again,” Priscilla Gordon, a social worker/case manager for Memorial Health said.

Every day Gordon works to help people who are experiencing some of the same feelings she faced 16 years ago.

“The 60 days I was in the hospital I met some amazing nurses some amazing social workers who really pushed me and said this is not the end, you survived for a reason,” Gordon described.

Memorial’s Behavioral Health Unit is offering even more mental health programs as they strive to raise awareness for what they say often goes untreated. Their partial hospitalization program and adult dual-diagnosis intensive outpatient program are for adults 18 years or older. They help people dealing with things like depression, anxiety, PTSD, grief, and relational conflicts.

“The average time from somebody to experience symptoms and to receive an appropriate diagnosis and treatment is 10 years. Think about that with suicide rates. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America, but it’s the second leading cause of death for those 15 to 24 years-old, that’s such a young population. Individuals are experiencing symptoms that start really in adolescent years and continue; and because society has continued to stigmatize mental health, it’s not considered the same as our medical conditions,” Lindse Murphy, the Executive Director for the hospital’s Behavioral Health Services said.

Signs many people display that are a call for immediate help include: declinging hygiene, giving items away, becoming isolative, or even having a sudden elated mood. Staff said creating open conversations about mental health is essential to helping realize it needs to be a priority.

“If we all do our part to raise awareness then we’ll make big strides in normalizing mental health and raising awareness for suicide,” Murphy said.

“Even in this dark place there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Gordon added.

Memorial Health employees said they plan to open a youth outpatient school program by the end of they year.

You can call (912) 350-5600 to set up a free assessment.

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