Recovery support when it's needed most
Original Source: democratandchronicle.com
You’re despondent after an argument with someone you love.
Or suddenly, you feel anxious.
Or you worry about falling back into using drugs.
A number of things can spark a mental health crisis. As with physical injuries, not all emotional pain requires the full-on approach of a hospital emergency room.
But they still can’t wait.
Starting Oct. 16, adults in non life-threatening distress can get help at a lower level of intensity.
Rochester Regional Health is opening the Behavioral Health Access & Crisis Center at the St. Mary’s Campus, 89 Genesee St. The entrance to the crisis center is off Chili Avenue, just west of the intersection at West Main and Genesee Streets.
The walk-in site initially will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m, Monday through Friday, with the goal of 24/7 access by the end of 2019.
Other non-emergency sites tend to be mutually exclusive. They treat people who have either mental health or substance abuse concerns, but seldom both at once, said Colin Scantlin, a registered nurse and director of acute psychiatric services.
The crisis center treatment team has a nurse and licensed mental health provider to determine whether the individual is most in need of medical care or counseling. For people who do have both issues, the crisis center eliminates the need to go to two places.
While the RRH crisis center can be another option for families coping with opioid addiction, the concept of a combined mental health and substance abuse facility has been at least three years in development. The site is part of the state plan to redesign Medicaid, and it supports the goal of reducing avoidable visits to the emergency room and hospitalizations by 25 percent over five years.
Scantlin explained how the crisis center will work.
What problems can the crisis center handle?
Rochester Regional’s urgent care for mental health is at the back of the St. Mary’s campus, with a driveway off Chili Avenue. (Photo: Patti Singer Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
The center is like an urgent care for mental health.
It’s set up for the following people: someone who has a mental health provider but for whatever reason is unable to follow up with that person; someone with a relationship problem; or someone who is concerned about using drugs. It also is for someone who is thinking about harm but does not have a plan.
Scantlin said the goal is to see people who are waiting two or more weeks to get a behavioral health assessment.
Someone attempting suicide, or someone who is bleeding, has a medical concern, a life-threatening illness or is in an overdose, needs to be seen in a hospital ER. Scantlin said the crisis center will call 911 for emergencies.
Colin Scantlin, RN, director of Rochester Regional Health’s new Behavioral Health Access & Crisis Center. (Photo: Provided by Rochester Regional Health)
While the center can help with mental health and chemical dependency, the exact treatment can vary depending on which is the primary issue at the moment.
For someone with a mental health crisis, staff will want to know if this is a chronic problem or something that has just cropped up. Counseling on coping skills and a quiet place to decompress will be available.
For someone with a substance crisis, the center has access to Rochester Regional Health chemical dependency beds.
The crisis center has a partnership with Rochester Psychiatric Center for emergency housing if the person’s emotional distress stems from homelessness.
Who can go to the crisis center?
The center is open to anyone 18 and older, regardless of their ability to pay. It also doesn’t matter where they get regular mental health or substance abuse care, or even if they get care for either concern. For people who do have a regular provider, RRH will follow up with that individual’s care team.
The Rochester Regional Behavioral Health Access and Crisis Center is for urgent but non-emergency mental health or substance use problems. For more, go to go.rochesterregional.org/bhacc/ or call (585) 368-3950.