Trident Medical Center unveils name of new mental health hospital

North Charleston, SC – Trident Medical Center unveiled the name of its new 60-bed behavioral health hospital today – Live Oak Mental Health & Wellness. With Lowcountry mental health professionals, advocates and hospital staff attending the event the hospital’s President and CEO Christina Oh said, “Live Oak Mental Health and Wellness represents what we admire about the oak tree – their strength and adaptability. These are two characteristics that make up the foundation of compassionate care that our patients who need mental health services will continue to receive. Our promise to Lowcountry families is we will continue our commitment to focusing on our patients’ mental wellness. Live Oak Mental Health and Wellness represents us returning whole and productive people back to the community.”

When completed in the Spring of 2023 it will be the Lowcountry’s first freestanding mental health hospital in more than 30 years. Inpatient and outpatient services will be provided for adults, geriatric adults and adolescents. It’s located at 3445 Ingleside Blvd, Ladson, SC and is about two miles from Trident Medical Center.

(l-r) Kelly Troyer, mental health advocate, and Christina Oh, Pres. and CEO, Trident Health

Mental health advocate Kelly Troyer, whose long association with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has given her an in-depth look at mental health care in the Lowcountry, said, “I’m the mother of a son with mental illness. I love the name Live Oak Mental Health and Wellness. We can now look at mental illness in a different way. We can now look at it as mental wellness.”

In Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties, “Nearly five percent of all admissions among all of the hospitals in the tri-county area are mental health related,” said psychiatrist Harish Mangipudi, MD, with Trident Medical Center. Jeffrey Cluver, MD, psychiatrist who also works at Trident Medical Center said, “The need for more mental health resources is critical in South Carolina, especially in the Lowcountry.”

Trident Medical Center psychiatrist Brandon Lily, MD, said providing mental health services for adolescents is a growing need for Lowcountry families. “Across the Lowcountry and the nation there is an alarming increase in the incidence of teens talking about and attempting suicide, but there’s a crisis in access to care. Live Oak Mental Health and Wellness will provide much-needed resources for our adolescent patients.”

Caroljane Roberson, MD, a psychiatrist at Trident Medical Center, said, “Live Oak Mental Health and Wellness represents hope. And, hope is on the way.”

(foreground) Ross Kemp, VP of Operations, Trident Medical Center, celebrates the announcement with colleagues

In 2014 Trident Medical Center opened a 17-bed behavioral health unit in the hospital. The unit was a turning point in Trident Medical Center’s commitment to providing high quality behavioral health services, but the demand has always been greater than the region’s ability to meet them. Since the unit opened beds are rarely available.

The new $30.4 million Live Oak Mental Health and Wellness will provide a state-of-the-art environment for patients that meets their treatment and safety needs. “Since the last freestanding behavioral health hospital was built in the tri-county area so much has changed in terms of how we treat patients and how we create environments in which they heal,” explained Dr. Cluver. For example, the new facility will include large outdoor courtyards that create many therapeutic benefits for patients in individual and group settings.

“If you look at the Lowcountry’s health profile,” said Dr. Mangipudi, “meeting our families’ behavioral health needs is as important as meeting their needs for high quality cardiac or stroke care. Until you have a family member who can benefit from behavioral health services most families don’t realize the importance of having greater access to care.”