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Franciscan Health 'EmPATH' unit seeing increase in mental health patients

Video Credit: WLFI - Published
Franciscan Health 'EmPATH' unit seeing increase in mental health patients
Franciscan Health 'EmPATH' unit seeing increase in mental health patients
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Seeing an increase in covid-19 patients -- it's also seeing an increase in patients needing mental health services.

As news 18's micah upshaw explains- hospital leaders believe it is related to the side-effects of living in a pandemic.

Ll intro: franciscan health leaders say this increase in mental- health patients could be linked to living in these uncertain times.

They're seeing everything from patients struggling with isolation, to people dealing with losing their job or a loved one to the virus.

But right now the hospital is mainly working with patients who haven't been taking their medication.

L: it seems as though our increase of patients is psychotic patients, so that often happens when medications aren't being taken properly or being taken at all.

M: behavioral health manager leah abbott says getting medication and making regular hospital visits hasn't been easy lately.

And she says it's like a ripple effect -- as the pandemic creates a new normal for society, people are struggling to adjust.

L: patients were nervous to come here to the hospital because of covid.

What we're seeing now are patients coming in, they've stayed home longer ey're nervous to come to the hospital but when they come in they're sicker.

M: when patients come to franciscan health for psychiatric help, they're admitted to empath, which stands for emergency psychiatric assessment treatment and healing.

Mental health america wabash valley region works closely with this program.

Ceo brandi christansen says there is a positive side to this increase in patients.

B: we're so proud of the individuals that take the courage to call.

We're grateful that they're reaching out for help.

M: christansen says calls to the organization's crisis hot-line have more then doubled, compared to this time last year.

B: as we're going on we're seeing more and more people that are experiencing these symptoms of anxiety and depression, which is completely understandable under the circumstances.

M: abbott says there are a few characteristics to look for, if you or someone you know are struggling.

L: more depressed, more anxious, isolative, withdrawn, if you're out of your medications, if you're having obsessive of compulsive thoughts or actions, please come to get help.

Ll outro: if you're in need of resources you can find them on our website wlfi.com.

Reporting in lafayette, micah upshaw, news 18.




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