• 63°

PRC Hospital and Nursing Home offering IOP services again

Within Pearl River County, there are residents suffering from one of a wide range of mental illnesses, with each illness having a spectrum of symptoms and severity.

However, programs like the Pearl River County Hospital and Nursing Home’s Intensive Outpatient Program can help those people with their mental health needs.

The program offers treatment for anxiety disorders, depression, schizophrenic disorders, and a plethora of other mental health disorders.

An IOP is a program designed for adult or geriatric patients who don’t require inpatient hospitalization.

The program offers group therapy sessions so patients can have open conversations in a safe space.

Program Director Joseph Anderson says that having an IOP in Pearl River County is especially important because of the lack of mental health resources available to residents.

“IOPs are therapy programs where patients meet with a therapist for three sessions for about 50 minutes,” Anderson said.

“They get to discuss their stressors, as a group they learn coping and how to deal with these problems.”

The group setting allows patients to have interactions with others who may be struggling with similar problems, and they can learn how to handle it together.

“Really we’re just trying to change thought patterns,” Therapist Jacoby Bell said. “It gets them to be able to talk and express ideas.”

Admissions Development Coordinator Steve Reid said his job is to go to communities and market the services available to residents.

“I try to not leave any stones unturned,” Reid said.

“My job is really just to get the information out there.”

Reid said most referrals for IOP services come from primary care physicians, or home health nurses.

This is the latest iteration of this program, with Reid saying that the program previously had approximately 70 patients.

However, with the lack of mental health facilities in the area Reid and the rest of the medical professionals involved in the program decided it was time to launch it again.

Reid said there are multiple phases in the plan to provide the necessary mental health resources to county residents.

Phase one was to just provide the services to the nursing home attached to the hospital.

Phase two was providing resources to patients who had their own means of transportation.

Phase three is expected to begin in the next couple of months, and the hope is to provide not only therapy sessions, but also transportation for those patients who need it in order to get treatment.

Psychiatrist Roy Reeves said that the IOP fills the void of treatment for patients in the middle of the spectrum.

“There’s a big need for more outpatient services,” Reeves said.

“It’s kind of midway between being in the hospital and being completely on your own. Some people are just not ready to see a therapist once a quarter or even once a month, but you would hope they don’t go back to the hospital.”

Reeves said the program can prevent people from having to return to the hospital, and that’s just one of the many reasons why having an IOP is so important for communities.

“This is kind of just being in the right place at the right time,” Reeves said.

For more information about the Pearl River County Hospital and Nursing Home’s Intensive Outpatient Program contact Steve Reid at 601-543-4610.