Suicide Prevention month starts on Sunday, but a group of local doctors and students did not want to wait until September to start changing lives in our community. In April, they started free mental health clinic for those who are uninsured or under-insured.
The clinic is the final Thursday of each month at 6PM. The clinic is held on the Health Sciences Campus at The Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University in the Stoney Building, which is located at 997 St. Sebastian Way.
The final Thursday in August is the 5th clinic so we checked back in to see how things have been going so far.
MCG Psychiatry Dr. Norah Essali says the clinic run by volunteers sees anywhere from 19-22 patients each time.
“From depression and anxiety to bipolar and schizophrenia so really everything that anyone would need help with from a psychiatric standpoint. we’ve seen it so far,” says Dr. Essali.
In less than 5 months, Dr. Essali says these treatments have changed lives.
“Once they did get diagnosed, got put on the right treatment and they are coming in for their follow up appointments, they are noticing a difference because their symptoms are improving. They are able to function better. They’re able to maybe go back to work or interact with their families better so it was just a matter of providing them with the resource to be able to get that help,” she explains.
Dr. Essali encourages anyone who might think they are in need of help to come to next month’s clinic.
“If you’re having a hard time. You’ve probably kind of identified what issues you’re having and if your family is asking you to get help, if you think even slightly that you need help, just come out. It’s free! It’s available. You’re going to be meeting with really nice volunteers. People are here to help so just use that service,” Dr. Essali says.
They would eventually like to expand to offer services for children also and they are working on the logistics right now.
The best way to connect with them and learn about upcoming clinics and services is on their Facebook page. CLICK HERE