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Mental Health Support When You Need It Most

Posted September 06, 2022 by Jaimie A. McKinnon, MBA, BSN, RN, NE-BC Vice President, Behavioral Health Institute

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According to the most recent COVID-19 Practitioner Survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, more psychologists reported an increased demand for mental health services in 2021 compared to 2020, with the most significant treatment increases occurring for those suffering from anxiety, depression and trauma-related disorders.

As your community healthcare partner, Summa Health is deeply committed to offering the highest quality behavioral health services to you and your loved ones and is available to help when you need it most. In light of emerging evidence correlating the pandemic with an increased prevalence of mental illness, we must emphasize the importance of seeking treatment if you or someone you know is experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Thoughts about suicide or harming others
  • Excessive anxiety
  • Prolonged sadness or depression
  • Severe mood swings
  • Inability to cope with problems and withdrawal from regular activities
  • Diminished capacity to maintain work, school, home or relationship responsibilities
  • Hallucinations, delusions or thought disturbances
  • Substance misuse/abuse

Summa Health understands that individuals seek care and support for myriad reasons in addition to the concerns listed above. To meet the unique needs of our patients, the organization offers a comprehensive array of inpatient and outpatient treatment modalities and employs a diverse staff of highly trained professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, therapists and counselors.

In celebration of a long and storied history of providing mental health and addiction services to members of the Greater Akron community, Summa Health is proud to highlight three exceptional treatment programs -- partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and First Step -- that may be of benefit to you and your family during these trying times.

Partial Hospitalization Program

The Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) at Summa Health provides a structured program of outpatient psychiatric services as an alternative to inpatient psychiatric care. Appropriate for individuals with a wide range of mental health conditions, our PHP provides patients with four to six hours of intensive structured outpatient psychiatry services daily (Monday through Friday). Consisting of both individual and group therapy formats, the program uses multiple mental health interventions to address the individualized needs of the patient. Participants must commit to 20 hours of treatment, sometimes more, each week.

Intensive Outpatient Programs

Summa Health Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) are ideal for individuals who require a higher level of care than weekly or monthly treatment can provide and typically run three to four days a week for several hours a day. Designed to accommodate work and family life, these programs enable patients to establish a foundation for long-term recovery. Summa Health currently offers IOPs in the areas of general psychiatry (behavioral health), substance abuse (addiction medicine), and post-traumatic stress.

The Summa Health Behavioral Health IOP provides group-based treatment to those with a wide range of mental health issues, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, relationship difficulties and co-occurring disorders, which involve coexisting substance abuse and psychiatric conditions. Staffed by a multidisciplinary team of physicians and counselors, the program also includes a weekly family session in addition to group therapy.

The Summa Health Addiction Medicine IOP is a group therapy treatment program for those with substance use disorders, which involve the persistent use of drugs and alcohol despite resultant harm and adverse consequences. Incorporating both abstinence-based and harm reduction strategies, treatment recommendations are based on the identified needs and goals of each patient that will provide the best opportunity for obtaining and maintaining a substance-free recovery.

The Summa Health Trauma IOP is designed to address the needs of patients who have significant difficulties coping in their daily lives due to the effects of past traumatic experiences. Staff is specially trained to help patients better understand their trauma-related difficulties and facilitate the development and implementation of effective coping strategies.

First Step

Based on a community model of care, First Step offers a continuum of addiction services in the Summa Health emergency departments located in Akron, Barberton, Green and Wadsworth. Offering unparalleled 24/7 access to care, First Step provides patients with on-site medication-assisted treatment and nurse-led addiction care coordination to synchronize service delivery. Through a longstanding partnership with Catholic Charities, First Step also affords patients an opportunity to connect with certified peer recovery coaches, whose lived experiences and focused training provide the foundation of their non-clinical assistance.

In the long, dark shadow cast by the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals with mental illness and addiction have found themselves engaged in a perilous struggle for their lives. If you or a loved one are currently in crisis, or simply feel that professional support of some kind may be helpful, please know that Summa Health is here for you. Together, absent shame or judgment, and with dignity and determination, we can endeavor toward a brighter tomorrow.

Jaimie McKinnon MBA, BSN, RN, NE-BC

Jaimie McKinnon MBA, BSN, RN, NE-BC


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