Chester County nurse cares for mental health of expecting moms

"Our goal is to help those who can't help themselves," said Lissette Liriano.
WEST CHESTER, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A Chester County nurse has made it her mission to care for the emotional and physical well-being of her patients.

Lissette Liriano, or "Mitzy" as everyone calls her, works at the OB/GYN Clinic at Chester County Hospital.

"Our goal is to help those who can't help themselves," said Liriano, who's a registered nurse as well as a mental health specialist.

"A lot of the patients that come in here have never been seen by a doctor, let alone have an appointment to be seen by a therapist," she said.

The clinic offers reduced-rate gynecological and prenatal care, and childbirth services to those who may not be able to afford them otherwise.

Liriano also helps connect those who need it to mental health resources.

"Whether they're coming from an abusive relationship. Whether they've just been affected by their transition here from a country. Whether it's financially, whether it's because they can't put food on the table," she explained.

Census data shows about 10% of Chester County's population is foreign born. Liriano says there's a lot of stress that comes with immigration.

"They don't speak English, they're afraid of being arrested and sent back home," she said.

Liriano estimates about 60% of the patients that come into the clinic struggle in some way with their mental health and so many of them don't know how to access the resources they need to help. That's why she believes a job like hers is saving lives.

"I really feel that I'm where I'm supposed to be, where I'm destined to be and where I'm supposed to serve God and his people," she said.

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