SOCASTEE, S.C. (WBTW) — This week marks five years since Grand Strand Health opened its behavioral health program, and current and former patients and staff are excited to celebrate its anniversary.
The medical center opened a separate unit at its South Strand location back in 2018 to focus specifically on mental health illnesses.
The program offers inpatient psychiatric care as well as outpatient therapy, where patients can access treatment methods like family, group and individual therapy, medication management and crisis management.
“That helps people with inpatient transition to the community setting,” said Scott Pomicter, a social worker and outpatient manager at Grand Strand Behavioral Health. “Instead of going to inpatient and then going to outpatient on a once a week basis for individual therapy or once a month for psychiatric medication.”
Pomicter says the inpatient facility has 22 beds, 14 of which are currently occupied and they may see as many as 25 people in their outpatient program on any given day.
Similar to when recovering from an injury like a broken bone, patients are able to graduate from each level of treatment once the individual and the medical professionals believe they are ready.
News13’s Claire Purnell spoke with two patients who were graduating from their respective programs.
“It has gotten me through a lot of traumatic incidents and trauma and all that kind of stuff and I am very happy that I was able to come here,” Starr Fannin, former patient/inpatient said. “Coming here has saved my life a lot and yeah… I’m very excited. I’m excited to get back to Clemson.”
Heidi Dragon, a former behavioral health patient/ inpatient and outpatient, echoed that sentiment.
“The one word that best describes this place is ‘safe,'” Dragon said.
The medical professionals at Grand Strand, like Pomicter, were proud to see more success stories within their program.
“That’s the norm when they come here to our program,” Pomicter said. “And that’s one of the reasons I keep coming back, because people improve, they get their lives back, they feel more content, more at peace, more happy.”
The program will host its five-year anniversary event on Wednesday from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the South Strand Behavioral Health Unit, and the community is invited to come celebrate with them.
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