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Regions Hospital expands in-patient mental health care

The recent expansion of 20% more beds will help an extra 600 people a year get life-saving help.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Regions Hospital recently completed an expansion of its in-patient mental health services, helping an extra 600 people a year get life-saving help. 

And a Wisconsin man says it’s that place that saved his life.

“I enjoy fishing and hunting and outdoor activity,” said Dave Peters.

Talking to Peters today, you'd never know what he went through a few years ago, but it’s a part of him he feels is important to share. The Vietnam vet, former pilot and real estate broker just couldn’t shake a bad feeling.

“I started getting horrendous thoughts in my mind about I was going broke, financially broke. I just kept ruminating on that and it just got worse and worse until I got into a state that I didn't think I could control my actions anymore,” says Peters.

Family and friends got involved, even the police. Dave finally got help and ended up at Regions.

“I was probably one of the worst patients that they had. I wouldn't listen to anybody, I didn't want to talk to anybody, I didn't want to see anybody,” he recalls.

“When he first came in, he really was not buying into what we were recommending, and was skeptical of how this was going to make any difference, but he persevered with us, trusted the process. He had, I wouldn't call it an epiphany, but he had a moment where he realized what was going on and how it was benefitting him,” says Dr. Donald Wiger with HealthPartners and Regions Hospital.

Dave was part of the DayBridge program at Regions. Patients put in seven hours of Intensive work a day, five days a week.

Regions, together with HealthPartners, serves about 9,000 patients experiencing mental health crises each year in the emergency department. A recent expansion of 20% more beds is helping to reach even more.

"The hope for that being, that if we're able to take a little bit of the burden off people waiting in the emergency department, that it gets people through the process more smoothly, more quickly. And if anything, opens it up for people to feel more comfortable with accessing the mental health system. Because if they have to wait, they're not going to want to do that for too long, and it may keep them from seeking out that help,” says Dr. Wiger.

That's the key: letting people know it's okay to get help and that they'll have access to that help when they need it.

“The people at Regions were just unbelievably outstanding. They saved my life. They honestly saved my life,” says Dave.

There are plenty of places to get help if you need it. HealthPartners has 45 mental health locations. 

Click here for more information.

If you are struggling with mental health, know that there is help out there. NAMI Minnesota is an affiliate of the national group that offers education, support and advocacy. Information on support groups, crisis services and other mental health resources can be found on NAMI Minnesota’s website.

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