AGH filling gap in getting the community immediate access to behavioral health care with new clinic

BERLIN, Md. – A new behavioral health crisis clinic in Berlin will bring many resources, including services for adolescents and telehealth.
“This is an area that needs more behavioral health services,” Megan Renfrew, Associate Director of External Affairs at the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission, said.
As part of a grant-funded partnership with TidalHealth and other community agencies, Atlantic General is helping to bridge the gap in getting more people access to behavioral health care.
“In our area, it’s a one month wait time for people to get into therapy often and six months sometimes to get a prescriber,” Bryce Blanton, Medical Director for the Psychiatry Department, said.
At the center, adults and children can walk in and get immediate care. This includes behavioral counseling, psychiatric care, and medication management via telehealth.
The rural portions of our state need healthcare services in ways that are at least equal and to and sometimes more than the urban counties, particularly this portion of the shore we saw the need, Renfrew said.
We’re told roughly 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 6 children experience mental illness in some form each year, that’s while demand for care for children keeps increasing.
“There’s just not a lot of providers for adolescence pediatric patients so to be able to provide that service and I think early connection to resources, early intervention, I think is key there,” Tina Simmons, Director of Population Health for AGH, said.
With this clinic, they are trying to solve that issue and by partnering with the Worcester County School District they want to make getting resources as seamless as possible. The Director of Population Health for AGH said she thinks getting children pre-crisis intervention is critical.
“We have seen the number of children in the school system, the number of referrals and calls with behavioral health issues significantly increase, especially with the pandemic,” Simmons said.
The clinic opens on January 31st, and those who are bringing it to life hope it can be a real game changer for those in need on Delmarva.
 Also, it is part of a larger effort funded through a $11 million Health Services Cost Review Commission Grant.
Categories: Local News, Maryland