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Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Hospital begins outpatient program as supplement to its psychiatric unit

Staff members at Spotsylvania Regional's new treatment program include (seated, from left) Peggy Porter, Susan Walley. (Standing) Julie Sutherland, Wanda Mercado.

A new outpatient treatment program has started for those with mental-health problems.

The Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center opened its Partial Hospitalization Program on May 1. The program is intended as a supplement to the care provided at the hospital’s 10-bed psychiatric unit.

“This is a step down from inpatient,” said Julie Sutherland, senior leader for behavioral health services.

Mary Washington Healthcare offers a similar outpatient program at Snowden at Fredericksburg, its psychiatric hospital.

Patients at Spotsylvania Regional’s program meet weekdays for about two weeks at a new office near the intersection of Courthouse Road and Smith Station Road in Spotsylvania County. The program is voluntary and designed for adults, Sutherland said.

Patients typically suffer from disabling depression or anxiety, Sutherland said. Treatment includes a day-long series of group meetings led by therapists Susan Walley and Wanda Mercado, and nurse Peggy Porter.

The goal of the program is to educate patients about their illnesses and to provide them with the skills needed to deal with crises, Sutherland said.