Unit shutdown will hurt county welfare | Your voice
During the last semester, I was a social work intern at the Center for Emotional Health and Recovery at Blount Memorial Hospital (“3 East”). I am writing to you about the recent announcement that the hospital will close the Center for Emotional Health and Recovery to expand emergency services.
During my time at Blount Memorial, I saw the dedicated staff at 3 East providing quality ambulatory mental health care to patients, while battling the uncertainty of what the future holds for this unit and their jobs. . The emergency department encounters patients with severe mental health needs every day who could benefit from inpatient treatment, and I’m sure there are others in our community who would be eligible for outpatient treatment.
Unfortunately, these people will now have to seek the necessary mental health services outside of our community, potentially waiting weeks for a place to become available in another facility.
Blount Memorial’s mission is “to improve the health and well-being of our entire community,” but the closure of the Center for Emotional Health and Recovery appears to directly conflict with that mission. How can the health and well-being of our community be improved when our mental health needs are neglected?
The Blount Memorial Emotional Health and Recovery Center is an invaluable asset to our community, and it is a shame to see this resource taken away from residents of Blount County when the need for mental health services is at an all time high.