Unity patient thrives after long treatment journey
For the first time in a long time, Bailey Grigsby’s life is full of positive activities. At last, she feels the best is ahead of her – thanks to her determination and the mental health treatment provided by Unity Center for Behavioral Health. Bailey recently became a licensed Oregon Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). She now works full-time for a local ambulance company and is studying for her associates degree to eventually become a paramedic.
“This period is a long time coming — for years,” she says. “But it’s so worth it. I’m on the other side of things and it feels good.” This well-earned period arrives after several years of difficult times and many stays at Unity over the last five years.
“I have borderline personality disorder,” says Bailey.
“That diagnosis comes with misunderstanding — maybe even a lack of belief by some. Over the years, I struggled with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. But Unity was the one place where I could get help.
She got to know Unity’s staff and they got to know her. Doctors, nurses, mental health therapists, occupational therapists, and many others spent hours with her. They took great care of her mental and physical health.
Bailey said the biggest hurdle was her self-doubt, “which could stick like maple syrup on paper.” She was struggling to find that enduringly safe, peaceful place. Then, in December 2019, Unity doctors developed a plan.
"I was on the verge of being committed to the state hospital in order to be kept safe,” Bailey says. “Dr. Karina Stone told me what I needed to do to avoid that. I was scared. I didn’t want to go there. But they presented me with a specific treatment plan to turn me around. I adhered to it. I attended group meetings and took care of myself physically. And I communicated my feelings about hurting myself.”
Eventually, after strictly following Dr. Stone’s plan, Bailey was discharged and moved in with her mom. Six months later, she applied to become an EMT. Now she is working and living in her own apartment.
“That six-month milestone was major,” she says. “Unity encouraged me throughout that time. Even after I was discharged, we kept in contact. They taught me that I was the only person stopping myself.”
At work, Bailey helps transport psychiatric patients. She says her personal experiences have helped her with the patients she’s trying to help. “A lot of them are being transported because they have suicidal ideation or something similar to what I went through. That makes it easier for me to encourage them.”
Another positive development for Bailey is that she’s become closer to her family and mom. “I am able to participate in family things now,” she says. “I went to my mom’s wedding recently. I’ve missed a lot of things over the years. But I didn’t miss that.”