The comprehensive outpatient facility in Georgetown offers a range of mental health services to meet the growing need in the community.
AT A GLANCE
Vision statement | We are committed to providing services that promote the individual’s quality of life and focus on the individual’s strengths and abilities.
Founded | 1967
Georgetown County: 525 Lafayette Circle;
Horry County: 164 Waccamaw Medical Park Drive, Conway and 9630 Scipio Lane, Myrtle Beach;
Williamsburg County: 501 Nelson Blvd., Kingstree
The dedicated staff members at Waccamaw Center for Mental Health never know what a day might bring.
Listen to Kisha Guess, the center’s clinic supervisor in Georgetown, roll off all the staff accomplishes on any given day, and even you might feel a bit exhausted.
Assessing potential clients, providing group services, responding to an unexpected loss by offering special grief counseling, providing intense therapy for individuals, administering medications and more – the staff works to help meet the growing demand for a wide range of mental health services in the community.
“There’s no cookie-cutter day,” Guess said. “We want to make sure we are meeting the needs of the community. We really want to live those words – that we are here and focused on the community.”
The center – a comprehensive outpatient facility of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health - has been serving the community since 1967 by providing services to adults, children and families affected by mental illness. The center serves Georgetown, Horry and Williamsburg counties with four offices.
The center partners with Tidelands Health through Tidelands Community Care Network to provide coordinated and comprehensive care. Being part of the network helps the center work with other agencies that can also provide needed services to its clients, including medical care and transportation to appointments.
“We get a closer connection to the health care community,” Guess said. “It allows us to be a part of so many collaborations. No one agency can serve such a wide population of individuals.
“Tidelands Community Care Network is the nucleus of that. It keeps us all together.”
Waccamaw Center for Mental Health is one of about 25 partners in Tidelands Community Care Network, which was created by Tidelands Health in partnership with Access Health SC and The Duke Endowment. The network is comprised of health educators, state agencies, transportation providers, primary and specialty care providers and others who help uninsured residents have access to medical care.
“Waccamaw Center for Mental Health serves a vital role in the Tidelands Community Care Network providing crucial services to our residents,” said Linda Bonesteel, director of community health resources for Tidelands Health. “The center works closely with us to find innovative ways to stretch our resources to help meet the growing demand for mental health services in our community.”
Through the partnership, the center helps pay for a clinician to work in the emergency departments at Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital and Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital. The expert can screen patients for mental health issues; refer the patient to specialized mental health services; and access the mental health history of a patient, including diagnoses and prescribed medications, to help provide the best care.
It’s one way Waccamaw Center for Mental Health works within the community to provide services. As with medical care, mental health care needs can emerge anywhere, anytime. The center also staffs an after-hours crisis line.
The center helps patients with a variety of conditions, including depression, schizophrenia and bipolar and works to lessen the stigma that’s become associated with seeking mental health care.
One of the biggest challenges is making sure clients are engaged with their treatment by being consistent showing up for appointments and taking their medications. If transportation to their appointments is a barrier, the center works with Tidelands Community Care Network to arrange a ride.
“The biggest challenge is making sure they are engaged,” Guess said.