Memorial Health workers remove the “stigmas” surrounding mental health

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

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

“I wanted to stop suffering. I attempted to take my own life, ran to the hospital and found that I would no longer be able to walk, ”said Priscilla Gordon, social worker / case manager for Memorial Health.

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

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

Memorial’s Behavioral Health Unit offers even more mental health programs as they strive to raise awareness for what they say often goes untreated. Their Partial Hospitalization Program and Intensive Dual Diagnosis Outpatient Adult Program are for adults aged 18 and over. They help people cope with things like depression, anxiety, PTSD, pain, and relationship conflicts.

“The average time it takes someone to experience symptoms and receive appropriate diagnosis and treatment is 10 years. Think about it with suicide rates. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America, but the second leading cause of death for those aged 15 to 24, it’s such a young population. Individuals are experiencing symptoms that really start in the teen years and continue; and because society has continued to stigmatize mental health, it is not considered equal to our medical condition, ”said Lindse Murphy, executive director of the hospital’s behavioral health services.

Signs many people show that they require immediate help include: denying hygiene, giving away items, isolating themselves, or even having a sudden euphoric mood. Staff said creating open conversations about mental health is essential to realizing it needs to be a priority.

“If we all do our part to raise awareness, then we will make great strides in normalizing mental health and raising awareness of suicide,” Murphy said.

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

Memorial Health employees said they intend to open an outpatient youth school program later this year.

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

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