Southeastern Health

"Our door is always open"

Whole-person care: No judgment, just help

At Southeastern Health’s Southeastern Regional Medical Center, nearly 1 out of every 9 hospital stays is related to a behavioral health disorder, says SeHealth Behavioral Health Services Director Anthony Grimaldi.

The term behavioral health disorder may not sound familiar. It refers to mental illness, substance use and addiction. Often, these conditions cut deep into individuals and families. The physical, emotional and economic effects are felt throughout the community. In his role, Grimaldi has seen the impact in Robeson County.

But people here are also “unbelievably resilient,” Grimaldi notes. So he wants you to know this too: There is hope. Help is here at SRMC for you or a loved one.

“Our door is always open, no matter how many times you believe you have failed,” Grimaldi says. “Everybody deserves an opportunity to get well again.”

Hope and healing

SeHealth offers a wide range of behavioral health services to help people heal.

“Probably the most common behavioral health disorders we see are depression; trauma-related disorders, like PTSD; chronic schizophrenia; and chronic bipolar disease,” Grimaldi says. “The most chronic substance abuse disorder we see is alcoholism, second right now probably to cocaine use. A close third is opioid disorders.”

Stigma should not keep people from getting help for mental health and substance abuse disorders. A basic tenet at SeHealth is this: “You’re not a bad person trying to get good. You’re an ill person trying to get well,” Grimaldi says. “And there’s no shame in suffering from alcoholism or addiction and mental health disorders. The only shame is doing nothing about it.”

Here’s a quick look at what’s available at SeHealth:

An inpatient unit. SRMC has a 33-bed psychiatric unit that serves nearly 2,200 people a year. The unit offers acute detox services as well as acute mental health treatment. Evaluations and therapies are provided by psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychiatric nurses, social workers and therapeutic counselors.

“We provide an atmosphere where people can learn healthy coping mechanisms and new life skill sets,” Grimaldi says. “One of the things we focus on is preventing relapse from either a substance use disorder or a mental health disorder.”

Everyone has triggers that prompt them to stop treating their illness or to stop believing that it’s serious enough to need treatment, he says. Triggers can be certain places, people or situations, for instance.

Outpatient clinic. Southeastern Psychiatry Clinic serves children and adults. A variety of psychiatric and substance abuse services are offered, such as counseling and medicines.

“We help with everything from childhood psychosis to bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and trauma in adults,” Grimaldi says.

Emergency treatment. SRMC stands ready to assess and treat people with behavioral health problems in the emergency department. The care is provided on-site and through telemedicine. “We can begin treating our patients with behavioral health needs from the moment they walk in the door,” Grimaldi says.

Community partnerships. SeHealth partners with local churches and other organizations to help expand awareness of behavioral health disorders in the area.

Expanding care

Plans are afoot to build a 10-bed unit within SRMC where both medical and psychiatric services will be available. It will allow a care team to manage patients with serious medical problems, such as heart disease, and behavioral health disorders on the same floor. The unit will include an outdoor space for meditation, exercise, a garden and recreation. Construction should begin in 2018. “We’re really excited about it,” Grimaldi says.

‘We never give up’

SeHealth treats behavioral health disorders like any other disease or disorder, Grimaldi says. “There is no stigma attached as far as we’re concerned,” he says, adding that mental health and substance use disorders are “absolutely treatable.”

“We don’t have cures yet, but we can put them in remission for a lifetime,” he says. “But we have to practice behavioral skill sets that offset the triggers and relapse obstacles people face.”

Reaching out for help at SRMC can be the first step in your healing journey.

“We never give up,” Grimaldi says.

GET IN TOUCH! Wondering if we can help you or someone you love? Call 910-272-3030.

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 February 2018 11:14 )  

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