Recent story by Fox Carolina: Mental Health Facilities Seeing Less Patients Amid Coronavirus Concerns

In a recent story amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Fox Carolina interviewed Havenwood Behavioral’s Administrator Mike Rowley and Dr. James Lee concerning the downturn in the number of patients being seen at the Havenwood facility. Read the full article below:

GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) – Times continue changing and it has more effects than many realize, including the impact this pandemic has had on mental health facilities.

Mike Rowley and Dr. James Lee at Havenwood Behavioral Health have noticed less patients coming in. They believe that patients are scared to make appointments during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“I think a lot of people are nervous to go to an ER or a hospital,” said Rowley. “If you are experiencing stress and anxiety about the virus, the last place you want to go is a place where you perceive it’s going to be.”
Which means the number of patients and clients his facility is seeing is also going down. Havenwood Behavioral Health works mostly with those facing prolonged or persistent mental illness or people who were referred to their facility directly from the ER.
In some cases patients said the coronavirus was adding to their stress, but in other cases it hasn’t proved to be an issue.
“Some of them are aware of what is going on and there is some concern about it but there are others that really haven’t mentioned it,” said Lee, a board certified psychiatrist at the facility.
What they’ve noticed is a lot of people just trying to grit their teeth to get through this so they aren’t getting the help they may need, which can cause major complications.
“There could be a deterioration in the symptoms they are presenting,” Lee said. “That can lead to it being that much more difficult when they do access the systems that have the resources that they need.”
It goes much deeper than that, psychiatrists said it can lead to severe reactions or responses from patients that aren’t typical.
“When you have a lot of emotion, it can illicit a response and not a logical one,” Rowley said. “Our routines are completely disrupted and as a result your stress levels can go up. And I think what a lot of people need to be cautious about is if they find they are spiraling out of control.”
They do have some advice, saying with the times we’re in it’s best to have a plan in place and not panic.

“Getting sleep, getting rest, getting outside and remaining active, getting fresh air and sunlight, all of those things can help in a situation like this,” said Lee.

Watch the newscast:

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