Citing an eroding national economy, Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital in Hoffman Estates has turned away 1,200 people this year seeking inpatient therapy for anxiety.
While the mental health hospital has treated 140,000 patients -- 5,000 of which were admitted for inpatient care in its 137 beds -- the hospital has seen a sharp increase in its foot traffic off the street.
In 2007, a total of 13,000 patients walked in seeking Access to Care, which includes both inpatient and outpatient services, but by November this year it has already seen 13,600.
"The bad economy has affected the number of people accessing our facility. The situation is very alarming, and our hospital's capacity is not growing," said Kelley Clancy, Alexian vice president of external affairs.
The mental health facility serves not only the northwest suburbs, but also the greater Chicagoland area, handling patients referred by hospitals throughout the city and suburbs.
The rise in cases started in June, said Alexian clinicians on Wednesday (Nov. 19), who made a direct correlation to the economy, especially home foreclosures, job layoffs, loss of insurance benefits and inability to afford prescription medications.
Mental health workers also have recorded more cases of sex addictions, gambling addictions, eating disorders, alcohol abuse and prescription drug abuse.
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