Freeport hospital invests in battling drug addiction and mental illness

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FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO) — A local hospital makes an important addition. It’s designed to help people battling drug addiction or going through a mental health crisis.

A nurse at FHN Memorial in Freeport tells us that the new setup with hopefully allow patients to feel more at home.

FHN Memorial is adding on. The new Crisis Stabilization Center will serve as a special unit to help people facing substance abuse or a behavioral crisis.

“We see patients with more depression. We see patients where increased anxieties. We see patients with increased challenges accessing their psychiatrist or challenges accessing their therapists because even though there is a number of therapists available there is still the safety that needs to be taken care of,” said Gabriel Gonzalez, the VP for Behavioral Health Services At FHN.

Because of COVID-19, many patients are facing challenges to get help–now more than ever.

“Unfortunately a lot of our patients have to wait in the emergency room and wait for beds to become available,” explained Samantha Garry, a nurse at FHN Counseling Services.

“There’s also that small percentage of patients, they don’t necessarily meet the criteria to be able to go home and function at home at their full capacity, but they don’t always meet that criteria to be hospitalized. There in that unique area where they just need a little extra help,” she added.

The project is designed to make patients feel more at home.

“It’s modeled after like a living room in your home. So it’s a giant space that the patients will be able to share. They’ll all have their own private little areas though,” Garry said.

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