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Trident Medical Center working on new behavioral health hospital to help ‘overburden’ on mental health care

Published: Feb. 26, 2022 at 1:48 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 26, 2022 at 6:57 PM EST
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Trident Medical Center is building a new 60-bed freestanding behavioral health hospital that is scheduled to be completed by the early summer of 2023, and they say it will be the first of its kind in the Lowcountry in more than 30 years.

The Lowcountry’s overburdened mental health care system is at a near “crisis” as the need for services is quickly outpacing the ability to care for patients, the health care network says.

More than 700,000 South Carolinians reported a mental health issue in 2020 with nearly 200,000 of those diagnosed as serious, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Dr. Kenneth Perry, who works in the Emergency Services of Trident Medical Center, says the lack of outward visibility for mental health patients makes it harder for people to understand the problem.

“The patient having a heart attack looks so ill that it’s very easy to see that they’re sick, or the patient with a broken bone usually has a deformity and it’s very easy to see,” Dr. Perry said. “The patient with mental health doesn’t look any different. It’s so difficult for people to understand when patients are going through mental health issues. So, it’s really important that we have the appropriate facilities and the appropriate providers in place to take care of patients no matter what their mental health needs.”

The new facility will offer inpatient and outpatient services for pediatric, adult and geriatric patients.

An event raising awareness for mental health services is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Thursday at 3445 Ingleside Blvd., Ladson, SC, about 2 miles from Trident Medical Center.

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