Screenings Help With Mental Health

By: Kristen Cosby
By: Kristen Cosby

August 23, 2005
Free health screenings are underway for people who lived in the Graniteville area during January’s train derailment. But can a medical screening help almost eight months after the accident? Doctors say yes, especially with a lingering problem many victims are experiencing: stress. News 12 is on your side with why Graniteville victims may need a screening for their mental health.

“I rolled out of the bed all wound up in a sheet one night and I was just soaking wet where I had been fighting something,” said Libby Cutright.


“I’m doing it, (using an inhaler) 2, 3 times a day unless I am really upset,” Cutright said.

Trouble breathing. And rising blood pressure. It’s all happened to Libby Cutright after January’s Graniteville train accident.

Libby is traumatized just by the sight of Graniteville. She had to move this apartment in North Augusta just to get away from the site of the crash.

“I could never live back there. I know I couldn’t. I’ll go a different way down there to miss going across those tracks,” Cutright said.

Psychologist Bill Albrecht has not met or diagnosed Libby, but says her symptoms sound much like those of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“It involved things like reliving it in some ways such as nightmares, thinking about it when you don’t want to,” Albrecht said.

Treating stress, depression and anxiety because of the crash are a big part of free medical screenings that started Monday. Though it’s been eight months, doctors say it’s still important to get checked out. Sometimes psychological disorders don’t show up right away.

“I can pray. I ask God every day to get me though this,” Cutright said.

Walking around the house is how Libby deals with her stress now, but hopes a screening can give her more insight. And the good news for others, Libby is the exception.

“Most people who go through any type of event come out okay,” Albrecht said.

But for those who aren’t okay, a screening may be the first step to getting there.

440 people have already signed up to have health checks in Graniteville. The Health Department is doing the free screenings using government money. The screenings are at the Bethlehem Baptist Church weekdays from 5-8 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Click here to visit the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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