Mid Illinois, Springfield / Decatur

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HSHS St. Mary's Hospital Behavioral Health Services Healing More Than Just the Body

  July 08, 2017

Submitted by St. Mary’s Hospital

HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital approaches behavioral health services with one unifying belief: that all people are made of a delicate balance of emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual dimensions. This simple understanding of the complex nature of their patients has led them to help thousands of people in our community live productive, fulfilling lives despite struggling with a mental illness or addiction.

“St. Mary’s has a full array of behavioral health services. Our inpatient programs are created to focus on age-specific treatment, consisting of an adolescent unit, a general adult unit, and our geriatric unit,” said Jill Crum, director of behavioral health services. 

St. Mary’s Hospital is the Decatur area’s only provider of hospital-based behavioral health services for all ages.

“To ensure our patients continue to receive support after discharge, we also offer several options for outpatient treatment, including outpatient counseling, substance abuse treatment, and adult day services,” Crum said.

St. Mary’s prides itself on its interdisciplinary approach to treatment. Every effort is made to help caregivers and family members determine the best options for the patient.
St. Mary’s Adult Behavioral Health consists of both inpatient and outpatient services. In each care setting, treatment plans are individualized for the specific needs of patients. Treatment programming is a balance between group treatments and rest. Both are necessary to encourage recovery. Treatments often include occupational and recreational therapy and medication if needed.

The outpatient services program at St. Mary’s offers a valuable and unique approach to mental health treatment. The program is designed for adults with emotional or behavioral disturbance who can understand and benefit from a full range of hospital mental health services but do not need overnight hospital care.

“For some, this program can prevent an inpatient hospitalization,” Crum said. “For others, it can serve as a transitional step between inpatient and outpatient treatment.”

A team of mental health professionals assesses the patient to establish and implement an individual plan of treatment. The program provides up to five hours of intensive, highly structured treatment per day, including a full range of psychiatric services. Group therapies offer structure, education, and ways to improve coping skills. Medical and support services meet patients’ physical, psychological, social, and activity needs, helping them acquire further stabilization and assisting them in a successful transition back to the community.

The program’s concept allows patients to enjoy the comfort of their own homes at night and the opportunity to practice new lifestyle skills while receiving daily support and treatment from a team of St. Mary’s mental health professionals. Treatment goals are designed to help each adult return to productive, daily life.

Another outpatient service is the St. Mary’s Hospital Substance Abuse Treatment Center. Because recovery from a substance abuse disorder is ongoing, St. Mary’s offers a range of treatment options designed to meet each patient’s changing needs.

“We offer a 12-step inspired program staffed with professionals with a wealth of knowledge surrounding chemical dependency issues,” says Chuck Kerwin, an addiction counselor at St. Mary’s. “Abstinence and recovery from drugs and alcohol are the goals of our treatment.”
Kerwin says that treatment begins with an assessment to determine the level of care appropriate for the individual seeking help. A treatment plan is created after the initial assessment. Medical detoxification, if necessary, is provided in an acute hospital setting. For less intensive therapy, outpatient services are offered which allow participants to maintain daily work or school schedules.

“We also offer outpatient services for individuals leaving a residential treatment facility,” Kerwin said. “Depending on individual needs, therapy sessions and educational classes are held at least two days a week.

St. Mary’s Senior Behavioral Health program is multifaceted as well. It consists of inpatient care, the memory clinic, and adult day care program.

St. Mary’s adult day care program focuses on the individuality and dignity of each member. In a relaxed, caring atmosphere, clients are encouraged to participate both in group and individual programs, specially tailored to their abilities. Clients participate in customized exercise designed to maintain and improve independence with activities of daily living and receive specialized assistance focused on their unique daily needs, including bathing, grooming, dressing, etc.

St. Mary’s Memory Clinic is a partnership with SIU School of Medicine Memory and Aging Network. The memory clinic is a branch of behavioral health services and provides evaluation, treatment, a comprehensive care plan, therapeutic counseling, and referral services.

“Too often, families do not know where to go when they have concerns about a parent or loved one,” said Mary Crisler, advance practice nurse at the St. Mary’s Memory Clinic, “Not only does the clinic address an identified community health need, but the clinic provides a place for families to turn to and get treatment for their loved ones.” Crisler added that memory disorders can be caused by a medical condition that is reversible with proper treatment or, unfortunately, may be related to dementia.

The senior behavioral health inpatient unit is the last facet of St. Mary’s comprehensive behavioral health services. Anyone can call St. Mary's Hospital Senior Behavioral Health. Referrals may be made by physicians, health care professionals, friends, or family. A free, confidential assessment can be scheduled in the individual's home, at the hospital, physician's office, or wherever the individual feels most comfortable. All admissions are reviewed with, ordered, directed, and supervised by a licensed psychiatrist.

If a patient's assessment determines that a stay at St. Mary's Hospital Senior Behavioral Health would be beneficial, our representative meets with the patient and family members to discuss a treatment program. The program is individually tailored to the needs of the patient, and may include evaluation of medications to determine their effect on cognition, group therapy, teaching of coping skills, and dealing with anxiety issues.

If you would like more information about St. Mary’s Behavioral Health Services, visit stmarysdecatur.com or call 217-464-2966.

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