Center for Emotional Growth Opening to Fight Mental Illness - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Center for Emotional Growth Opening to Fight Mental Illness

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A Therapy Room in the new Center for Emotional Growth A Therapy Room in the new Center for Emotional Growth
HENRICO (WRIC) - Virginia is rolling out changes to the state's mental health system, set in motion by the death of Senator Creigh Deeds' son.

There's a need for more psychiatric beds statewide and now Parham Doctors Hospital is helping to fill the void.

The new Center for Emotional Growth just opened with 24 additional beds for patients dealing with some of the biggest struggles of their lives.
David Rockwell knows what patients there are going through.

Diagnosed with bi-polar disorder several years ago, Rockwell now works as a peer counselor.

"I'm an example of somebody who was in a really bad place at one time and I've been able to find recovery and move on with my life."

Rockwell helps patients who come through these doors manage their own mental illnesses through activities like group therapy and yoga.

"It's going to be a little more engaging, they're going to try to look at the whole person and be recovery oriented with their treatment."

"It is very unique we have a multi-disciplinary team approach," says Medical Director Dr. Mariano Piedra. "It's a small first step. Hopefully this will grow and maybe we can add some additional beds in the future but clearly at the present time this meets the needs of our community."

There's been a focus on mental health in Virginia since November when Senator Creigh Deeds' son attacked him, then killed himself. The Sandy Hook shootings and those at Virginia Tech also made headlines.

But Rockwell says talking about tragedies after-the-fact isn't enough. A center like this can help to prevent them in the first place.
"We need to focus more on that instead of the crisis response."

For more information on the Center for Emotional Growth, go to hcavirginia.com/about/newsroom/hca-virginia-opens-center-for-emotional-growth-at-parham.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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