Business

Behavioral health center opens in Bluffton

Stephanie Jamison, CEO of Jamison Consultants Behavioral Health Center, cuts a ribbon outside her building at 167 Bluffton Road on June 25, 2014. Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka also attended the ceremony and open house event for the center, which opened in April and provides mental health, substance abuse and behavior modification treatment to adults, adolescents and children.
Stephanie Jamison, CEO of Jamison Consultants Behavioral Health Center, cuts a ribbon outside her building at 167 Bluffton Road on June 25, 2014. Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka also attended the ceremony and open house event for the center, which opened in April and provides mental health, substance abuse and behavior modification treatment to adults, adolescents and children. Submitted photo

Stephanie Jamison thinks most people struggling with substance abuse, mental-health and behavioral problems want help.

They just don't always know where to look, she says.

Jamison is trying to make things a little simpler.

The CEO has opened a center in Bluffton that offers a range of services under one roof. Jamison Consultants Behavioral Health Center, which opened at 167 Bluffton Road in April, specializes in the care of children, adolescents and families, including mentoring students in school and at home.

The company held a ribbon-cutting Tuesday. The center provides psychotherapy, substance-abuse treatment and behavior modification. It accepts most types of insurance and Medicaid, Jamison said.

The center also provides treatment to those in pre-trial intervention programs, which target behaviors and addictions that likely contributed to criminal actions, Jamison said. Many of the people referred by the courts can't afford treatment programs, she said.

"There is a place here you can get help now," she said. "Hopefully, it will cut down on crime, it will cut down on negative behaviors in the community, maybe it will cut down on homelessness."

The Bluffton center is the second Jamison facility in the state. The first launched in 2010 in Holly Hill, where about 100 patients have completed rehabilitative programs, according to a news release.

Jamison expects the Bluffton center to serve about the same number of people, though she has prepared for different demographics.

Holly Hill is a rural town in Orangeburg County with less than 1,300 people, she noted.

To accommodate Beaufort County's growing Hispanic community, Jamison hired several Spanish-speaking counselors and staff members.

The center also caters to children and adolescents whose behavioral problems hinder their education, Jamison said. A few families have already signed on as clients, and their children meet with staff in the center and at school, she said.Another company, Wright Directions Family Services, offers similar support to Beaufort County families.

About 50 students receive mental health counseling and therapy from the Ridgeland-based service provider, which also works with students in their homes to tackle the source of stress, according to the district's student services officer, Gregory McCord.

Since mid-October, the district has referred families in need to Wright Directions, McCord said. While the district has not done the same for Jamison Consultants, McCord said, families that have chosen to work with the company have been pleased.

"They've been great to work with," McCord said. "And I don't know if you can ever have enough agencies working together, if you're talking about putting kids and families in better environments and better situations."

Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.

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