Lowcountry expert discusses the importance of mental health screenings

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) — A Lowcountry expert spoke about the importance of mental health screenings following a new recommendation from a national organization.

This week, the US Preventive Services Task Force issued draft statements recommending anxiety screening for adults under the age of 65. It is the first time this recommendation has been made.

“My response is that it should have happened decades ago,” said Mark Hood, the mental health intake coordinator at Trident Medical Center. “Depression, anxiety and stress are always present and have been even more so over the past two and a half years.”

The Task Force said it continues to recommend screening all adults for depression. According to Hood, pandemic-induced factors such as financial hardship and social isolation have led to this increase in mental health problems.

Hood said South Carolina is following the national trend of seeing more depression, anxiety and stress. He said part of the problem is the stigma surrounding mental health and the refusal to seek help.

“Instead, they wait until the end and seek help when everything has collapsed. The best approach is to get it right in the beginning,” he explained.

Hood said the Tri-County area is rich in mental health resources. More are on the way with the construction of Trident’s new 60-bed behavioral hospital, expected to open in spring 2023.

“There hasn’t been a new behavioral clinic built in the state of South Carolina for over 30 years. Our population in the Tri-County area is growing so fast that we need such a facility,” said Hood.

For a list of mental health resources, click here.

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