JACKSONVILLE – A new mental health clinic now serves Jacksonville and surrounding areas. The Be Well Mental Health Center officially opened in mid-January.
Owned and operated by Jacksonville native Kristy Perry, a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, the center will offer psychiatric assessments and treatment recommendations, including medication management.
Kristy, who specializes in psychopharmacology for conditions affecting adults including depressive disorders, anxiety, bipolar and psychotic disorders, OCD, PTSD, ADHD and personality disorders, said her main role was to manage the drug regimens of these conditions.
“My primary role as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner is to manage the most appropriate drug treatment regimen for the mental health condition,” Perry said.
Perry stressed the importance of mental health, especially during difficult times.
“People need to understand and accept that seeking help for mental health is no different than seeking help for other health issues, such as infections, broken bones, etc. Mental health is essential to maintain, because how we feel mentally impacts many aspects of our daily functioning, from our physical activity to social interactions, productivity and so many other areas,” Perry said.
“Stress during tough times makes everything worse, so it’s important that mental health is healthy and functioning in optimal condition so that we can deal with external stressors and factors beyond our control,” he said. she continued.
According to Perry, other than ACCESS for residents of Jacksonville and Palestine, she is not aware of any private psychiatric clinics in Cherokee County.
“I hope to help the community by providing a place where people can come and feel comfortable disclosing their mental health issues,” Perry said. “I can’t think of any other geographic location where I would rather provide services than here where my roots are.”
Perry shared that after her father’s unexpected passing, she felt moved to begin a journey she had always dreamed of.
“Be Well was born out of a desire to be a business owner that I had since the 90s, when I was at the start of my nursing career. When my father passed away suddenly in January 2021, I felt an overwhelming sense of awakening and urgency to ‘get it right now,’” Perry said.
“Life is too short to wait for your dreams. Do them now. I think it’s better to try and fail than never to have tried at all. I have worked in a clinic in Dallas for a year and absolutely look forward to providing this same service to people in my home community,” she said.
Although Perry deals with a wide range of clientele, she is particularly drawn to postpartum women due to her own personal experiences.
“I’m particularly passionate about mental health in the postpartum period because I myself experienced severe postpartum depression and anxiety over twenty years ago,” Perry said. “It was a very scary time in my life. If it weren’t for the great providers and loving, supportive family members that surrounded me during this time, I don’t know how I would have could get out of it.
Perry said she also places particular importance on working with military personnel.
“Military service members hold a big place in my heart, and not just because my son is in the Marine Corps,” she said. “I feel like if one person is willing to raise their hand and be at the mercy of our government’s decision making, all to serve and protect our freedoms as Americans, the least I can do is to be available for them in times of mental struggle. ”
Kristy serves the East Texas areas via office visits and additionally offers telepsychiatry services for all Texans. She is currently taking on new clients at Be Well Mental Health Center.
The Be Well Mental Health Center is located at 1438 East Rusk Street. Opening hours are Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday by appointment and Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday closed.
For more information, visit www.bewellmhc.com or call (903) 364-6357.