It’s no secret that the pandemic has taken a toll on people’s mental health. The World Health Organization reports that in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a whopping 25%.
With that dramatic uptick comes challenges accessing mental health care, but one ThedaCare offering allows people to get help without having to visit the emergency room. ThedaCare Behavioral Health Walk-in Care-Neenah provides specialized support and services to people who need mental health care, says Rob Booth, a mental health clinician who provides care at the site.
“It’s basically anybody who needs more immediate mental health services. It’s a little more of a direct customer experience with mental health coming here rather than the emergency room,” he says.
Behavioral Health Walk-in Care is available to adults with mental health needs, and you don’t have to be a ThedaCare patient to access the service. Those younger than 18 get referred to Catalpa Health or another service for children and youth.
When people come into Behavioral Health Walk-in Care, it’s often for one visit, and the clinician will first evaluate for risk, including thoughts of suicide, and then provide resources. People are welcome to come back for additional visits, but the goal is to connect them with longer-term services, whether inpatient or outpatient, Booth says.
“We help them navigate those questions they have surrounding mental health and make sure they’re safe,” he says. “Our goal really is to meet them where they are right now.”
Gregg Brewer, a mental health clinician at the site, says many people who come into the clinic aren’t connected to services already and are seeking assessment and resources. Others may already have another mental health care provider but find themselves in need of care before they can get another appointment. Issues that bring people in include suicidal thoughts, anxiety, depression, relationship troubles, and alcohol or drug use problems.
“We meet with them and do an assessment. If we feel medication is indicated, we’ll probably connect them with their primary care provider. If they don’t have one, we’ll help them through the process,” Brewer says.
A psychiatric nurse also works at Behavioral Health Walk-in Care, providing care coordination and management, and the clinic is poised to add a third clinician.
Booth says one of the benefits of the service is the clinicians’ connections to other care providers. “We have all these resources at our fingertips, from primary care to somebody else.”
Behavioral Health Walk-in Care offers an important option that allows people to receive help quickly, Brewer says. “I think the stigma surrounding mental health continues to decrease over time, so more people are comfortable seeking services.”
ThedaCare Behavioral Health Walk-in Care-Neenah
If you have a mental health care need, visit ThedaCare Behavioral Health Walk-in Care-Neenah. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
333 N Green Bay Road
Neenah, WI 54956