Healthwatch: Intensive Outpatient Program

Millions of senior Americans suffer from depression or anxiety. Both conditions can affect a person's ability to function. Diagnosis may start with a family physician who may refer the patient to a specialist.

Rush Health Systems offers its "Intensive Outpatient Program", or IOP, to treat anxiety and depression. Group therapy has proven effective for many in just having someone to talk to.

"If they know that someone else is having the same problems that they are, they feel much better about themselves, knowing that 'I'm not in this by myself'. And that's what we try to do is to get them to open up to each other," said Dr. Leonard Byrd, who counsels at Laird Hospital in Union.

Byrd said it's one of the most beneficial methods he has seen.

"And of course, the therapist is sitting there as a facilitator," Byrd said.

Licensed professional counselor for Rush, Michael Gandy, says depression that needs treatment goes on for 2-weeks or more and typically involves lack of sleep, weight gain or weight loss, loss of interest in activities or fatigue.

"Going untreated, a person can withdraw into a shell," said Gandy. "It can affect thinking, affect thought perception."

Gandy says family members are likely to notice before the individual. Once a diagnosis is made, IOP is open to those who are at least 55 years old and have depressed mood or trouble with behavior and thought processes.

"They're able to help work through each other's problems in most cases," Gandy said.

Rush offers the IOP service in ten locations:

Rush Medical Clinic/Collinsville
9101 Collinsville Road
Phone 601-626-7407
Open Monday, Wednesday & Thursday

Primary Healthcare/Forest
1080 Highway 35 South
Phone 601-469-4990
Open Tuesday & Wednesday

H.C.Watkins Senior Care/Meridian
1100 17th Avenue
Phone 601-703-1464
Open Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday

Scott Regional Hospital/Morton
Highway 80 East
Phone 601-732-1073
Open Monday, Thursday & Friday

Newton Family Medical Associates/Newton
252 Northside Drive
Phone 601-683-6609
Open Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday

Rush Medical Clinic/Philadelphia
1106 Central Drive
Phone 601-656-1044
Open Monday, Wednesday & Thursday

Downtown Philadelphia
481 Beacon Street, Suite 7
Phone 601-656-8108
Open Monday, Tuesday & Thursday

H.C. Watkins Hospital/Quitman
601 South Archusa Avenue
Phone 601-776-5055
Open Monday, Wednesday & Thursday

Laird Hospital/Union
100 West Barfoot Street
Phone 601-774-5153
Open Wednesday & Friday

H.C. Watkins Hospital/Waynesboro
Highway 45
Phone 601-735-5190
Open Tuesday, Thursday & Friday

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