LIBERTY — Signature Psychiatric Hospital will officially open its outpatient clinic doors Dec. 3, at 555 Rush Creek Parkway, south of Liberty Hospital and the inpatient psychiatric hospital – the hospital within a hospital.
Blair Swadley, director of outpatient services, said the organization had a “serious and hard conversation” after the inpatient space opened in late March of this year. On Nov. 15, the community dedicated the facility.
“It was about creating a place to provide a continuum of care,” Swadley said. “We will have patients who no longer need the inpatient help, but require therapy. We knew we would eventually open a clinic in this part of the city.”
The inpatient facility in Liberty has 36 beds with 18 for adults and 18 for seniors. A North Kansas City Hospital location also has 36 beds. The stays are 10 to 14 days.
The outpatient clinic allows patients to keep receiving necessary help, which will reduce readmissions, Swadley said.
To start, there are five therapists and two psychiatric nurse practitioners on staff. They aid teens, adults and senior citizens. The specific program for seniors is called Silver Lining, which helps with depression, anxiety, dementia and substance use. Swadley said those in need of intensive outpatient services can receive therapy five days per week and other therapies three days a week. They will also see a nurse practitioner to manage medication.
“We can receive referrals from primary care physicians, therapists and even other psychiatrists,” she said. “We also expect people can search the internet and call us for an assessment. These assessments can be done over the phone or here in the facility.”
Signature Chief Executive Officer Lisa St. Aubyn applauded the outpatient services offered at the site including the Silver Lining program.
“The psychiatric nurse practitioner will be a great tool as well,” she said.
John “Buddy” Turner, owner of Signature Psychiatric, said the facilities help people find the right treatment.
“We have hospitals and clinics that will help people from those acute needs to maintenance,” he said.
John Shuchart, an entrepreneur and businessman in Kansas City, attended the November dedication event. He wrote a book recently titled, “You Are Not the Brightest of My Four Sons .. And Other Depressing Things That Have Been Said to Me.” He spoke on the importance of ongoing counseling and support when recovering from depression.
“There is a stigma when it comes to mental health,” Shuchart said. “We should not have a problem sharing this. When I told people I wanted to share information about suffering from depression, people said it would ruin my business and my reputation. Instead, I decided to write a book.”
Shuchart spoke about the trauma of a severe car accident that has resulted in 17 surgeries.
“I felt hopeless, in constant pain and addicted to opioids,” he said. “I looked on the internet for how to kill myself. Eventually, I called my best friend and we talked. He listened and we laughed. We used humor. I really suggest to reframe the trauma. Find the funny. While you can’t change the event, you can change the response later on.”
Along with the therapies for seniors, adults and teens, the North Kansas City location has the Valor Program, which specializes in inpatient and outpatient clinical mental health services for veterans and first responders. Warriors Best Friend of Liberty will become another community partner and bring in dogs for therapy as well, said David Strother, Valor Program director.