This new Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) was developed in partnership with UltraGroup Healthcare to help bridge the gap in treatment for behavioral health services specifically for the underserved senior population.
“In 2020, the state of Georgia was ranked number 50 in access to mental health services,” said Colquitt Regional President and CEO Jim Matney. “Our state and region are both in great need of mental health services and Colquitt Regional is actively working to create solutions to this problem. In addition to IOP, we are close to opening our inpatient geropsychiatry unit in the hospital. We are also in the final stages of developing a psychiatry residency program at Georgia South to help train the next generation of psychiatrists.”
Sterling Group Senior Behavioral Health uses a multidisciplinary treatment team that treats patients who are 65 years or older, have Medicare Part B, and have a diagnosis such as major depressive disorder and/or generalized anxiety disorder.
The treatment team consists of a psychiatrist, a licensed clinical social worker, and a registered nurse that all work together to develop an individualized plan for each patient. This team meets once a week for patient treatment planning and to discuss patient progress.
After the therapist assesses each individual, they will provide group therapy sessions that last up to 45 minutes with anywhere from two to 10 patients on average. Typical patient treatment lasts from four to six weeks. Each day begins at 9:30 a.m., ends at 1:45 p.m., and includes lunch between sessions.
During these sessions, the patients process thoughts and feelings as well as identify their progress towards treatment goals.
The therapist may also provide individual and family therapy as needed, which typically lasts anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.
Throughout the course of treatment, the RN will meet with patients daily to complete nursing assessments. This will involve the nurse evaluating for any physical or emotional symptoms that are present.
The RN will also provide daily education in the group setting on topics such as relaxation, self-esteem, exercise, pain management, problem solving, fall and safety precautions, smoking cessation, nutrition, medications, discharge planning, and social skills.
“The pandemic, in addition to daily life challenges, has created an emotional toll on many, especially those who are later in life,” said Hospital Authority Chairman Maureen A. Yearta, Ed.D. “Our goal is to provide a structured, supportive environment for our patients to come and work through whatever struggles they are facing.”
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.
Caption: Colquitt Regional recently opened a new outpatient clinic for senior adults dealing with mental health issues, Sterling Group Senior Behavioral Health. Pictured, from left, is therapist Jasmine Tucker, MSW, LCSW, and nurse Tania Royal, RN, two of the Intensive Outpatient Program multidisciplinary treatment team members.