Sheppard Pratt, the state’s largest providers of mental health care, is adding a virtual crisis center for evaluation and referrals for those who need urgent mental health care during the coronavirus pandemic.
The online clinic will connect people with the appropriate level of care they need if they are reluctant to go to the walk-in clinic because of the virus and stay-at-home orders in the state. The move also aims to reduce emergency room visits for psychiatric care so space and resources can be saved for COVID-19 patients.
“It is important that we continue to provide vital mental health services to those in need during these uncertain times,” said Dr. Deepak Prabhakar, Sheppard Pratt’s medical director of outpatient services, in a statement. “Our virtual clinic meets an important need as it can help decrease the volume of psychiatric patients in hospital emergency rooms, when those hospitals are triaging and taking care of patients with COVID-19. We can provide greater access to mental health services to support some of our most vulnerable populations and meet them where they are through a virtual assessment.”
More information about the virtual clinic can be found on Sheppard Pratt’s website.
Sheppard Pratt therapists and clinicians will schedule follow-up calls or in-person appointments for therapy or medication management or recommend inpatient admission. The office hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The walk-in crisis clinic opened in 2011 and provides nearly 7,000 people with urgent psychiatric care a year.
This story was updated to reflect that the walk-in clinic remains open.