MOULTRIE, GA – Colquitt Regional recently opened its new outpatient clinic for seniors with mental health issues.
This new Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) was developed in partnership with UltraGroup Healthcare to help close the gap in the treatment of behavioral health services specifically for the underserved older population.
“In 2020, the state of Georgia was ranked 50th in access to mental health services,” said Jim Matney, regional president and CEO of Colquitt. “Our state and region are both in dire need of mental health services and Colquitt Regional is actively working to create solutions to this problem. In addition to the IOP, we are about to open our inpatient geropsychiatry unit at the hospital. We are also in the final stages of developing a psychiatry residency program in South Georgia to help train the next generation of psychiatrists.
Sterling Group Senior Behavioral Health employs a multidisciplinary treatment team that treats patients 65 years of age or older on Medicare Part B diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and / or Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
The treatment team consists of a psychiatrist, a registered clinical social worker, and a registered nurse who all work together to develop a personalized plan for each patient. This team meets once a week to plan the patient’s treatment and discuss the patient’s progress.
Once the therapist has assessed each individual, they will offer group therapy sessions that last up to 45 minutes with an average of two to 10 patients. The typical treatment for a patient lasts four to six weeks. Each day starts at 9:30 a.m., ends at 1:45 p.m. and includes lunch between sessions.
During these sessions, patients process their thoughts and feelings and identify their progress towards treatment goals.
The therapist can also provide individual and family therapy as needed, which typically lasts 30 to 60 minutes.
Throughout the treatment, the RN will meet with patients daily to perform nursing assessments. This will involve the nurse’s assessment of any physical or emotional symptoms present.
The RN will also provide daily education as part of the group on topics such as relaxation, self-esteem, exercise, pain management, problem solving, fall precautions and safety, smoking cessation, nutrition, medication, discharge planning and social skills.
“The pandemic, in addition to the challenges of everyday life, has created an emotional toll on many, especially those later in life,” said Hospital Authority Chairperson Maureen A. Yearta, Ed. D. “Our goal is to provide a structured and supportive environment for our patients to come to work through all the struggles they face.”
The IOP will be led by UltraGroup Psychiatrist Dr. Christine Lynn, Therapist Jasmine Tucker, MSW, LCSW, and Nurse Tania Royal, RN.
For more information, please contact Sterling Group Behavioral Health at 229-502-9649.