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Reported by: Carol Williams Email: Carol.Williams@wcpo.com
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If someone in your family developed a mental illness, would you recognize the symptoms? Would you know where to go for treatment?
The Tri-state has a promising new resource: the Craig and Frances Lindner Center of Hope.
Christine MacConnell writes about the local music scene for the weekly newspaper, “CityBeat.”
She has a master’s degree in English and creative writing, and she’s won awards for her fiction.
“I won the Mercantile Library fiction contest,” she says and she wants people to know that she leads a full life, even though she has bipolar disorder.
“I do yoga, take medication, go to therapy, keep in close contact with my parents and friends,” she says. “It keeps me stable for long periods of time.”
But getting to this point has been a struggle, because it was so hard to find good psychiatric treatment.
“I started going to a doctor who misdiagnosed me with depression, and put me on an anti-depressant, which for bipolar people puts you in mania and that’s what happened to me,” she says. “By the time I ended up in the hospital, I was psychotic.” [SSRIs cause mania in many people and it has nothing to do with being “bipolar” – SSRIstories Ed]
And she describes those hospital stays as straight out of “Cuckoo’s Nest.”.
“Every time I was in the hospital,” she says, “I was just trying my hardest to get out of there. No treatment plan, no nurturing or care.”
Dr. Paul Keck, president and CEO of the Lindner Center of Hope, intends to make mental healthcare more accessible for Tri-state families. He gave me a tour of this state-of-the art facility , which opens to the public on August 18.
“Our goal is to make this a pleasant experience, an easy experience for people to navigate, a place for people to go for help,” says Dr. Keck.
Carol Williams: “What was your goal architecturally?”
Dr. Keck: “We want the center to be warm, inviting, as much as possible to feel like someone’s home”
The Lindner Center was built on what used to be a farm in Mason. An open garden area encourages patients to move outside, closer to nature.
“We’re trying to focus on mind, body and spirit,” said Dr. Keck.
The Lindner Center has 64 beds, all in private rooms, for inpatient treatment, including a special area for adolescents.
A great plus for families is that the center offers outpatient services, too.
“People get into hospitals in crisis and get stabilized and somewhat better, but there’s a huge gap in services following discharge,” says Dr. Keck.
The center is affiliated with UC’s College of Medicine. It will include the latest research and treatment.
“It’s something I wish I would have had,” says Christine.
Christine has written a memoir about her experience with mental illness.
“Cincinnati, Ohio, August 1999. Flat on my back on a stretcher. I was trapped,” it begins.
“When I was first getting sick there was no one there who was an example for me, to show me it’s possible to get better,” says Christine.
She wants others to know there is hope ..
The Lindner Center of Hope offers treatment for a range of mental illnesses, including mood disorders, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.
Copyright 2008 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.