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Willowbrooke at Tanner Meeting a State-wide Need
Tanner Health System wants to remind area residents of howeasy it is to seek help through its Willowbrooke at Tanner behav-ioral health service. As headlines highlighted failures in Georgia’s state-run psychi-atric hospitals, crews were clearing land and pouring the founda-tion for a new 52-bed behavioral health facility in Villa Rica.When it opened in April 2009, Willowbrooke at Tanner wasthe first new inpatient behavioral health facility built in Georgia inabout 20 years. Over those 20 years, Georgia’s population hadgrown by 1.7 million people – more than 26 percent – and themedical community’s understanding of mental illness had grownin ways that are difficult to quantify.The state simply had not kept up.“Our focus has always been local,” said Wayne Senfeld, Ed.S,LPC, a licensed professional counselor and administrator of Wil-lowbrooke at Tanner. “But because of the success of our programsand the need for our services, our impact has been statewide.”Willowbrooke at Tanner serves patients from Dalton to Savan-nah. Patients have been referred to Willowbrooke at Tanner from74 Georgia counties, as well as from six counties in Alabamaand even as far away as Washington State. The number of free,confidential mental health assessments provided annually by Wil-lowbrooke at Tanner has grown almost 150 percent since 2001— from 3,140 to 7,815 — and the program is on-course to pro-vide almost 10,000 by the end of the year. Admissions to Wil-lowbrooke at Tanner’s programs are more than a year ahead of projections.Patients receive care from a team of therapists, psychiatrists,nurses, dietitians and other resources that Willowbrooke at Tanner can provide as an integrated part of a regional health system. Theprogram provides inpatient and outpatient treatment for adults,elder adults, children and adolescents with a wide range of be-havioral health problems. Outpatient care is provided through theTanner Center for Behavioral Health, with locations in Carrolltonand Villa Rica, to provide a complete continuum of care. About half of Willowbrooke at Tanner’s inpatient clients aretreated for major depression. Many others receive care for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis and attention deficit hyperactiv-ity disorder (ADHD), as well as substance abuse.“We’re addressing an unmet need for our entire state,” saidLoy Howard, president and CEO of Tanner Health System. “For 60 years, Tanner Health System has been delivering quality careto our community. The positive, innovative programs at Willow-brooke at Tanner have truly expanded Tanner’s ‘community’ toinclude people from all parts of Georgia.”Willowbrooke at Tanner plans to begin serving more hospitalemergency departments in the coming years, furthering its directregional impact. The program is also developing a new mind andmemory clinic that will utilize the latest technology to understandpsychological conditions and provide patients the tools to under-stand and control them.Willowbrooke at Tanner is a state-of-the-art, free-standing, in-patient behavioral health facility, which is located adjacent to theTanner Medical Center/Villa Rica campus. It is central to Tanner’sprimary service area and convenient for area residents to accessthe facility’s services. The proximity to the 24-hour emergency de-partment at Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica makes it possible for medical emergencies that arise at Willowbrooke to be dealt withquickly and efficiently. Willowbrooke accepts both voluntary andinvoluntary admissions.Willowbrooke at Tanner provides a total therapeutic spectrumthrough individualized treatment programs. Programs for bothhigh- and low-functioning patients are provided, as well as pro-grams for dual-diagnosed patients. A multidisciplinary team of clinicians led by a physician provides treatment including crisisintervention, comprehensive evaluation, and rapid stabilization.The primary goal for Tanner Behavioral Health’s Willowbrookeat Tanner is to provide short-term treatment in the least restric-tive environment that can ensure safety and help patients reducesymptoms, improve functioning, refine coping skills and make thetransition to a less intensive level of care.Willowbrooke at Tanner offers comprehensive mental healthand substance abuse evaluations. Most assessments and evalua-tions are scheduled appointments that follow a free mental healthand substance abuse screening. Assessments and evaluations consist of a more intensive clini-cal interview than a screening and may also include testing. At theconclusion of an assessment or evaluation, the patient will receiverecommendations for specific treatments or programs, individual-ized treatment plan recommendations and clinical diagnosis.Master’s-level clinicians and specially-trained substance abuseevaluators are on staff to provide this service to individuals of allages. Assessments and evaluations are usually the first step in anytreatment program.For more information, call the 24-hour help line at 770-836-9551. This number can connect callers to a highly-skilled mentalhealth clinician skilled in crisis intervention. To learn more aboutWillowbrooke at Tanner’s programs, visit www.willowbrookeattan-ner.org.