Amanda Grubbs, RN

Behavioral health patients benefit from clothing donations

Behavioral health patients have complex medical and emotional issues. But along with these issues are more basic needs – including clothing.

Behavioral Health caregivers at Spartanburg Medical Center associates are working to meet that need, often bringing items from home to help. The public can contribute, too.

Patients are grateful for the assistance, said clinical unit educator Missy Harper-Butler.

“They are accepting of help,” she said, adding, “When you look good, you feel better.”

And that helps patients have a better chance of a healthy start as they re-enter the community.

The need

Patients sometimes come into the Behavioral Health unit with little in the way of possessions or resources, nurse manager Amy Davis, RN, said. Some are homeless. Others are estranged from family members and have no support system.

Newly admitted patients may have come in following an encounter with law enforcement or EMS.

“If there was a drug overdose, they might have had their clothes cut off,” Davis said.

When these patients leave the hospital, they will need adequate clothing, along with personal hygiene items such as toothbrushes and deodorant, as they try to get back on track.

“We want to send them back into the community without having to overcome another barrier,” Davis said.

During their stay

These patients also need comfortable clothing while staying in the unit. While many hospital patients stay mainly in their rooms, treatment for Behavioral Health patients involves group discussions or activities such as art therapy – so they need something more than a hospital gown to wear.

The SMC Behavioral Health unit has 28 beds and serves three categories of patients:  adults who have been admitted involuntarily, adults who have signed themselves in to the unit, and geriatric patients.

Amanda Grubbs, one of the patient care assistants, helps organize a closet for donations. She said the need is ongoing and that the unit welcomes donations of all kinds – various sizes of men’s and women’s clothes, casual and dress clothes, seasonal attire, socks, underwear, shoes – just as long as they are clean and not damaged.

Meanwhile, Spartanburg Regional Foundation accepts monetary donations to its Behavioral Health Fund to support basic needs for patients served in the unit as well as training and education for staff members.

To donate clothing or basic hygiene products to the Spartanburg Medical Center Behavioral Health Unit, contact Amy Davis, RN, at 864-560-6627. Monetary donations can be made to Spartanburg Regional Foundation’s Behavioral Health Fund.