Franciscan Health 'EmPATH' unit seeing increase in mental health patients

While Franciscan Health is seeing an increase in COVID-19 patients, it's also seeing an increase in patients needing mental health services.

Posted: May 22, 2020 7:55 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — While Franciscan Health is seeing an increase in COVID-19 patients, it's also seeing an increase in patients needing mental health services.

Hospital leaders said this increase in mental-health patients could be linked to living in these uncertain times. They're seeing everything from patients struggling with isolation, to people dealing with losing their job or a loved one to the virus. But right now the hospital is mainly working with patients who haven't been taking their medication.

"It seems as though our increase in patients is psychotic patients so that often happens when medications aren't being taken properly or being taken at all," said Leah Abbott, Franciscan Health's Manager of Behavioral Health Western Indiana.

Abbott said getting medication and making regular hospital visits hasn't been easy lately. And she said it's like a ripple effect, as the pandemic creates a new normal for society, people are struggling to adjust.

"Patients were nervous to come here to the hospital because of COVID," said Abbott. "What we're seeing now are patients coming in, they've stayed home longer because they're nervous to come to the hospital but when they come in they're sicker."

When patients come to Franciscan Health for psychiatric help, they're admitted to EmPATH, which stands for Emergency Psychiatric Assessment Treatment and Healing. Franciscan in Lafayette is the first in the state of Indiana to implement an entire unit for mental health crises. Mental Health America Wabash Valley Region works closely with this program. CEO Brandi Christiansen said there is a positive side to this increase in patients.

"We're so proud of the individuals that take the courage to call. We're grateful that they're reaching out for help," said Christiansen.

Christiansen said calls to the organization's crisis hotline have more than doubled, compared to this time last year

"As we're going on we're seeing more and more people that are experiencing these symptoms of anxiety and depression, which is completely understandable under the circumstances," said Christiansen.

Abbott said there are a few characteristics to look for, if you or someone you know are struggling.

"More depressed, more anxious, isolative, withdrawn, if you're out of your medications, if you're having obsessive or compulsive thoughts or actions, please come to get help," said Christiansen.

Mental Health Resources in Tippecanoe County: 

Franciscan Health "EmPATH" Program 

Mental Health America Wabash Valley Region 

Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 18°
Kokomo
Cloudy
26° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 14°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 13°
Lafayette
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 18°
Danville
Mostly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 27°
Frankfort
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 16°
Frankfort
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 16°
Monticello
Cloudy
22° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 15°
Monticello
Cloudy
22° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 15°
Logansport
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 25°
Some snow Wednesday to Wednesday night.....
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 614946

Reported Deaths: 9807
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion849231342
Lake45784693
Allen33103560
Hamilton29752316
St. Joseph27572383
Elkhart24496346
Vanderburgh19679255
Tippecanoe18150144
Johnson15234296
Porter14970172
Hendricks14550253
Madison11071223
Clark10852145
Vigo10819185
Monroe9496115
Delaware9193136
LaPorte9173164
Howard8325148
Kosciusko811485
Warrick683399
Hancock6783106
Bartholomew6659100
Floyd6522113
Wayne6194164
Grant6050118
Dubois559081
Boone557968
Morgan551996
Henry512365
Marshall507884
Dearborn488745
Cass487864
Noble476159
Jackson428747
Shelby423381
Lawrence395180
Clinton375845
Gibson375560
Harrison354046
DeKalb351365
Montgomery349754
Knox337839
Miami325244
Steuben315846
Whitley313126
Wabash306951
Adams303636
Ripley301646
Putnam299152
Huntington295760
Jasper293035
White275943
Daviess271776
Jefferson267738
Decatur249983
Fayette249949
Greene242763
Posey241828
Wells237551
LaGrange230363
Scott227939
Clay225032
Randolph215848
Jennings200937
Spencer193622
Sullivan193633
Washington189023
Fountain185227
Starke177044
Jay168723
Owen168338
Fulton165430
Orange161035
Carroll160616
Rush156418
Perry156129
Vermillion150034
Franklin149933
Tipton134433
Parke13098
Pike118826
Blackford112023
Pulaski97937
Newton92621
Brown88835
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin75013
Warren6867
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4967
Unassigned0375

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events