The Bridge to Emotional Health

April 12, 2014
  • Are you constantly tired and have trouble focusing or concentrating?
  • Are you losing sleep and crying for unknown reasons?
  • Have you lost your sexual appetite and your desire to socialize with friends?
  • Have medications prescribed by your doctor failed to help?

If this describes you, you are not alone. Mental illness is a leading cause of disability in the United States. One in 10 children and one in four adults suffer from a mental disorder such as depression, anxiety, stress or other emotional or psychiatric difficulties. The good news is, there is help available. The Bridges Psychiatric Program at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro is one of few inpatient programs in the area here to assist you.

Bridges is a hospital-based facility offering a safe and confidential physician-supervised treatment program. It is designed with the comfort and dignity of patients in mind. Bridges offers acute inpatient psychiatric care, as well as two outpatient programs in which patients come in for four hours a day.

Psychiatric and emotional illnesses are really no different from medical and surgical conditions. They can be chronic or acute, but either way, treatment is available. Unfortunately, there are longstanding prejudices against mental illness, worsened by negative portrayals of those patients in the movies or other media, which make people afraid or embarrassed to seek help. In fact, it is wise and not shameful to seek the professional care we offer.

Our caring team consists of a group of professionals that include: psychiatric physicians and nurses, psychologists, therapists, case managers/social services, speech therapists and spiritual care, among others. Admission requires the approval of a psychiatrist. The unit also specializes in geropsychiatric services, working closely with local nursing homes and senior programs to meet the needs of older adults in our community.

More than 60 percent of patients at Bridges are over the age of 65, so we frequently deal with Alzheimer ’s disease and other dementias, as well as depression, paranoia or other mental illnesses that can affect the elderly.

“The process of aging not only wears down the body,” said Russ Rockwell, nursing manager at the Bridges Psychiatric Program. “It is very important for caregivers to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness.”

The Bridges team provides caring and personalized treatment under the direction of a team of multidisciplinary healthcare professionals, to help restore people to their highest possible level of functioning. The team develops a personalized treatment plan for each individual patient, based on his or her specific needs and problems. Family members are encouraged to participate in this comprehensive process, which allows optimal treatment outcomes. The program also works collaboratively with the Recovery Center to treat those afflicted with dual diagnoses or co-occurring disorders. The Bridges Psychiatric Program accepts Medicare, private insurance, HMOs and PPOs.

If you or your loved one suffers from a psychiatric or emotional illness, We Can Help! To learn more about the services offered at the Bridges Psychiatric Program at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro, please call 1.310.514.5359.