Colquitt Regional program aimed at keeping psychiatrists in SWGA

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 7:13 PM EDT
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TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - Georgia Chamber’s forum in Tifton discussed improving Southwest Georgia’s workforce by making sure employees stay well. Not just physically, but mentally well.

During the panel, they discussed that changing the stigma and getting more psychiatrists within the community, can help the workforce.

CEO of Turning Point Hospital, Judy Payne, said one in five people suffer from a mental health disorder, two-thirds of them don’t get treatment.

She used two terms to describe those who suffer from a mental health disability in the workplace.

One being Absenteeism where the person’s symptoms are so severe, they can’t come to work.

The other is Presenteeism when someone can come to work but is not as engaged or productive because they’re suffering from untreated mental illness.

Judy Payne, CEO, Turning Point Hospital
Judy Payne, CEO, Turning Point Hospital(WALB)

“They could be the folks creating safety hazards in your facility. These are also the folks who are your most loyal, dependable, trusted employees, and they certainly all deserve care,” said Payne.

She said some ways you can address mental health in the workplace is simply to talk about it.

Also, make sure to send out emails letting your employees know what resources are available at work.

Colquitt Regional Medical Center is starting a residency program for psychiatrists.

Program Coordinator, Kristoff Cohran said this will bring more resources for people struggling with mental health to get the help they need.

Kristoff Cohran, Program Coordinator, Colquitt Regional Medical Center
Kristoff Cohran, Program Coordinator, Colquitt Regional Medical Center(WALB)

“With the hope that we can keep at least 50 percent of those participants in the residency program not only within our community but within the region ultimately within the state,” said Cohran.

He added it’s even more important to create resources when Georgia is ranked 47 out of 50 states for mental health issues.

They’re hoping this edition of the psychiatry program will help give more access to South Georgia.

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