Free mental health care clinic


MORE THAN HALF THE POPULATION WILL BE DIAGNOSED WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS OR DISORDER AT SOME POINT IN THEIR LIFETIME, ACCORDING TO THE C-D-C. BUT THERE IS A SHORTAGE OF MENTAL HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS. NEWSCHANNEL SIX’S ASHLEY OSBORNE SHARES HOW THE MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA IS ADDRESSING THE GAP BETWEEN THOSE SEEKING TREATMENT AND THOSE PROVIDING IT. ASHLEY OSBORNE/ REPORTER: PSYCHIATRY RESIDENT DR. NORAH ESSALI LOOKED FOR A FREE MENTAL HEALTH CLINIC WHERE SHE COULD VOLUNTEER. SHE FOUND RESOURCES IN OUR COMMUNITY, BUT SHE SAYS SHE DIDN’T FIND A FREE CLINIC DEDICATED TO MENTAL HEALTH… SO SHE DECIDED TO START ONE HERE. DR. NORAH ESSALI/ THE MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA: THE POPULATION IN AUGUSTA THAT’S UNINSURED OR UNDERINSURED HAVE REALLY LIMITED ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES. ASHLEY OSBORNE/ REPORTER: EVERY LAST THURSDAY OF THE MONTH FROM SIX TO EIGHT P-M THEY’LL HELP THOSE STRUGGLING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS. AN ATTENDING PYSCHIATRIST WILL OVERSEE RESIDENTS LIKE DR. ESSALI AS THEY CONDUCT EVALUATIONS. DR. NORAH ESSALI/ THE MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA: SO IT’S JUST GOING BACK AND FORTH ABOUT QUESTIONS WE WOULD HAVE IN OUR MINDS WHAT CRITERIA IS FOR WHAT DIFFERENT DISORDERS LIKE DEPRESSION OR ANXIETY SO WE’D BE ASKING THE PATIENT QUESTIONS TO SEE IF THEY EXPERIENCE SYMPTOMS THAT WOULD MEET THAT CRITERIA AND WE JUST KIND OF GO THROUGH THE INTERVIEW TO SEE WHAT DISORDERS THEY MIGHT MEET CRITERIA FOR AND SEE WHAT THE APPROPRIATE TREATMENT FOR THAT IS. ASHLEY OSBORNE/ REPORTER: OFTEN, THE RIGHT TREATMENT INCLUDES MEDICATION SO THEY’RE FUNDRAISING TO HELP PATIENTS COVER THAT COST AS WELL. OF COURSE BECAUSE WE’RE A FREE CLINIC WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH FUNDS CURRENTLY, WHICH IS WHY WE ARE FUNDRAISING FOR THAT. ONE OF OUR PSYCHIATRY ATTENDINGS HERE DR. ROSENQUIST IS PLAYING A BENEFIT CONCERT FOR US. ASHLEY OSBORNE/ REPORTER: THEY’VE GOT MORE INFORMATION ON THE CONCERT PLUS OTHER WAYS YOU CAN DONATE AND GET INCOLVED, ON THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE, WHICH WE HAVE LINKED ON WJBF DOT COM. STUDENTS LIKE EMILY MOORE WILL HELP RUN THE CLINIC. EMILY MOORE/ MCG STUDENT: I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN REALLY INTERESTED IN MENTAL HEALTH BECAUSE IT’S KIND OF LIKE THE LESS TANGIBLE SIDE OF MEDICINE AND I THINK THAT BECAUSE OF THAT IT CAN SOMETIMES BE HARD TO SEEK TREATMENT FOR IT, FIND TREATMENT FOR IT. ASHLEY OSBORNE/ REPORTER: FOR MANY, MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT SEEMS LIKE A LUXURY THEY CANNOT AFFORD OR ACCESS. THESE YOUNG DOCTORS AND FUTURE DOCTORS ARE TRYING TO CHANGE THAT. FOR SOMETHING AS COMMON AS DEPRESSION FOR EXAMPLE, TREATMENT IS LIFE SAVING BECAUSE IF YOU HAVE DEPRESSION AND YOU’RE STRUGGLING WITH IT EVERYDAY, YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE IS AFFECTED, BUT THEN YOU KNOW OF COURSE IF IT CONTINUES TO WORSEN AND IT’S NOT TREATED THEN IT WILL LEAD TO THINGS LIKE THOUGHTS ABOUT SUICIDE, OR ACTUAL ATTEMPTS OF SUICIDE OR COMPLETED SUICIDE SO TREATMENT FOR MENTAL HEALTH ILLNESS IS LIFE SAVING. ASHLEY OSBORNE/ REPORTER:THIS FREE MENTAL HEALTH CLINIC IS FOR THOSE WHO UNINSURED OR UNDERINSURED AND AT OR BELOW 200% OF THE FEDERAL POVERTY LINE. THEY WILL ACCEPT WALK INS AT THEIR FIRST CLINIC THIS THURSDAY. IN AUGUSTA, ASHLEY OSBORNE WJBF NEWSCHANNEL SIX.

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