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New mental health programs provide vital help

Urgent care, response teams started this summer

At a time when there is a lot of concern about mental health issues, it is good to see a local agency offering some new programs to help our neighbors who suffer from those ailments.

UnityPoint Health – Berryhill Center launched two new initiatives this summer. One of them is called Behavorial Health Urgent Care. Most people are familiar with the concept of urgent care clinics, which are places where someone can go without an appointment to be treated for something like a sore throat. Behavorial Health Urgent Care operates on the same principle. But instead of sore throats, this facility is prepared help those who are feeling down and need someone to talk to. Its staff can also help with more serious cases, such as people thinking about taking their own life.

Additionally, the staff is ready to help patients with things like food and housing problems.

In the four months since the center opened, it has served 114 people. UnityPoint officials reported that 83 percent of those patients were helped without having to be admitted to a hospital.

A mobile crisis response team is the other new mental health initiative. It started operating on July 1. It consists of mental health professionals that are ready 24 hours a day to respond in Humboldt, Pocahontas, Webster and Wright counties to help people experiencing a mental health crisis.

To date, the teams have helped just a handful of people. Most of those were helped without having to be admitted to a hospital.

Demand for the response teams and urgent care facility is expected to keep growing.

Our community is fortunate to have these new mental health resources.

The hard-working mental health professionals who are making these programs work every day deserve our thanks and respect.

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