The Avera Behavioral Health Center in Sioux Falls is now offering new iPAD technology to help their patients and they are the only behavioral heath hospital in the region to do so. Nancy Naeve Brown met a woman from Clark who has dealt with depression all her life and is now happy there's an app to help her at home.
Tika Sendelwick from Clark, SD openly admits she suffers with deep bouts of depression.
Tika says, "I remember at 4 wanting to die. I first tried suicide at 16."
She has found intense cognitive behavioral therapy at the Avera Behavioral Health Center in Sioux Falls with Psychiatrist Dr. Matt Stanley to be a life saver. Now thanks to the iPAD pilot project, she doesn't have to be at the hospital to get hands on help, its right at her fingertips.
Dr. Stanley says, "Part of any teaching experience, which is what you get in behavioral health, is keeping people interested, keeping things fresh."
They turned to technology. Eight iPAD were bought through a Pay-It-Forward grant from the Avera McKennan Foundation for cognitive behavioral therapy patients to use in their rooms. Each was loaded with applications that mirror what they've learned in therapy. Tika found the iPAD apps so helpful during treatment; she bought her own when she got home.
Tika says, "I can't run to the doctor all the time. I have to learn to stand on my own two feet. Medicine goes so far and I have to learn to work through it and CBT works. It works for me. The iPAD is especially great because you take it with you."
One of Tika's favorite apps is the relaxation one. It walks you through visually and verbally.
Dr. Stanley says, "It gives you tools so you don't always feel so hopeless, helpless, and defenseless when things aren't going your way you want them to go. One of the things we struggle with on discharge is tying to find appropriate support serves that we think match what a patient needs and it just isn't available everywhere "
Dr. Stanley says in a rural state like South Dakota it's important to make sure their patients are armed with their own arsenal of coping skills since often times therapists are hours away. Tika says her iPAD has already kept her out of the hospital twice so far, touching on the gravity of this pilot program's early success.
Avera Behavioral Health chose iPADS as their interactive medium of choice because they are touch based and very easy to use.