Tuesday, June 25, 2024
HomeMedicalLowcountry mental health facility celebrates 1st year, looks at future improvements

Lowcountry mental health facility celebrates 1st year, looks at future improvements

LADSON, S.C. (WCSC) -After seeing a major need for this resource, it has officially been one year since Trident Medical Center opened the first free-standing behavioral health hospital in the Lowcountry in over 30 years.
In its first year of being open, the Live Oak Mental Health and Wellness hospital in Ladson has been able to grow and expand and has had a major impact on the community. The hospital has even more plans for growth and expansion in years to come.
The 60-bed hospital provides both inpatient and outpatient care for adolescents and adults. Just a year since the opening of this facility, they have been able to expand to two other locations as well. They have opened a therapy center in downtown Charleston focusing on group therapy sessions. They also have opened the region’s first Emergency Psychiatric Assessment, Treatment and Healing, or EmPATH, unit at Trident Medical Center in North Charleston. The EmPATH unit is the first of its kind in the Lowcountry and was part of a $40 million grant from the state. They will eventually open 13 hospital-based EmPATH units across South Carolina. Through these expansions, they have made mental health resources even more accessible to the community.
Live Oak Mental Health and Wellness has also grown, expanded and adapted as a facility. For example, since opening, they have been able to add an intensive outpatient service that focuses specifically on people struggling with substance abuse as that was something they noticed the community needed.
Melissa Camp is the director of Clinical Operations at Live Oak Mental Health and Wellness. She has been at the facility since it opened and says that they have made a huge impact on the community through what she calls a “labor of love.” She says that they are constantly listening to their patients and community members to see how they can speak to their needs.
Camp says this was a much-needed service in the community and she is honored to be a part of it.
“You can ask anybody who’s a mental health provider in the Charleston area and they’re going to tell you that this hospital was greatly needed. And so, you know, one of the impacts we’ve seen in our outpatient services specifically, they’ve more than doubled in volume and size since we opened because there was such a need for that intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization program. Our team here provides exceptional service and so we’ve really gotten a great response there,” Camp says.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that more than 180,000 adults in South Carolina have a serious mental health disease, and over 50,000 adolescents suffer from depression. The issue remains present in the Lowcountry and that is why those at Live Oak are trying so hard to beat these statistics, but it’s something that takes time.
“There’s a reason why nobody has done this in the last 30 years because there’s just so much that goes into it, but we wanted to be so intentional about doing it right. And that involved being intentional about hiring staff that is passionate about working with this population and doing this kind of work. It makes a huge difference in the quality of care that our patients receive,” Camp says.
She says a lot has gone into the work that they have done so far, but they can accomplish so much because of a staff that is passionate and always puts the patients first.
Camp says that they built the Live Oak facility with growth in mind and are currently working with local providers to find ways to make inpatient care even more accessible and she is excited to see the impact they continue to have in years to come. She says they are constantly working on their development and are even looking to implement more services later this year. She noted some ideas they are considering are more adolescent services or potentially more traditional therapy options.
On Thursday, they will celebrate the first anniversary of Live Oak Mental Health and Wellness with a gathering set to take place at the facility at 7:30 a.m. This event is not open to the public but is more of a way to honor the work the staff has accomplished and look forward to what is to come.
Copyright 2024 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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