(Durham, NC) – Alliance Behavioral Healthcare has developed and opened a new service in Durham to help people who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis. Much like the physical health urgent care facilities that are becoming common in our communities, a behavioral health urgent care center provides rapid assessment of an individual’s situation, routine intervention, and referrals for follow up services.
The goal of behavioral health urgent care centers is to provide a community-based option to stabilize individuals experiencing behavioral health crises in a way that reduces unnecessary trips to the emergency room, hospitalizations, and even incarcerations.
This service targets people living in Durham, Wake, Cumberland and Johnston counties who have Medicaid or no insurance. Individuals with private insurance and those who do not qualify for other public funding will pay an out-of-pocket fee.
The new center in Durham, located at 2670 Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard, is open for adults and children Monday-Thursday from 8:00am-7:00pm, on Fridays from 8:00am-3:00pm and on Saturday from 9:00am-noon. It is operated by Carolina Outreach, a member of the Alliance Provider Network that also offers a variety of other behavioral health services at locations across the state.
“The Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center adds a critical component to the behavioral health service continuum in the Triangle region,” said Tim Brooks, Director at Carolina Outreach. “It allows us to address mental health and substance use disorder needs that fall in the considerable gap between routine office visits and emergencies that require facility or hospital-based care. I believe this program will help pave the way for more humane, effective and efficient care.”
Visitors to the Urgent Care Center have access to psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, and other clinical staff in a safe, respectful environment. In addition to a screening of any behavioral health issues that are present, they receive a medical screening, access to appropriate medications, and referrals to community-based providers and other resources for follow up care.
“Alliance is committed to giving people access to services when they need it,” said Dr. Beth Melcher, Alliance Executive Vice President for Care Management. “Behavioral health urgent care is an innovative way to be responsive to their needs and to address not just behavioral health crises, but also the overall well-being and support needs of the individual.”
Behavioral health urgent care is well-suited for someone who has experienced a recent trauma and needs help managing thoughts and feelings and planning next steps, or someone who has been barred from attending school until they receive a psychological assessment. It can help people who have stopped receiving behavioral health services and want to re-engage in treatment immediately, supply a medication bridge until an appointment for routine care can be made, or provide assistance administering an injectable medication.
This level of care is not suited for drug/alcohol detoxification, people with urgent medical needs, or when it is clear that hospitalization is required. In those cases, a hospital or one of Alliance’s Crisis and Assessment Centers is more appropriate. Locations of these facilities are available on the Alliance website at AllianceBHC.org. Alliance also provides an Access and Information Line where clinical staff is available 24/7 by calling (800) 510-9132.