SPRINGFIELD – The COVID lockdowns have left hundreds of children dealing with grief and isolation, have thrown a key in the recovery process for people facing substance abuse and left many feeling awful without knowing why.
Since the pandemic lockdowns started in March 2020, Clinical options and support It saw a 20% increase in the number of people seeking a wide range of mental health services. As part of this expanding need, the company’s Springfield Clinic has moved into a building that is twice the size and easily accessible.
Clinical and Support Options staff, known as CSO, held an open house Friday to showcase the new, full-service $1 million urgent care clinic and office that is now located in a renovated plant in Building 102-3 at Springfield Technology Park, 1 Federal St., Karen said. Jeffers, President and CEO.
“Our goal is to be accessible to our community,” she said.
The nonprofit civil society organization provides a variety of mental health services to approximately 19,000 people from 19 offices in four counties in western Massachusetts and one in Gardner. Jeffers said the Springfield office alone now serves more than 2,500 people a year, 25% of whom are children.
The move comes at a time when mental and behavioral health services are more in demand than ever. The day before opening the house Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation from Massachusetts He published a report saying the state was facing a wave of people struggling with mental health struggles and called for greater investment in the behavioral health workforce.
in Springfield, Baystate . Health Together with its partner Kindred Behavioral Health, it has begun building a new $72 million, 150-bed psychiatric hospital scheduled to open in the summer of 2023 to meet growing needs. Currently, many patients, especially children and teens, end up waiting days and sometimes weeks in emergency rooms due to the lack of available treatment facilities.
Jeffers said employees in civil society organizations are not only facing an increase in the number of people needing services, but they are also seeing clients with more pressing needs, especially for people in their early and mid-20s.
“With young people we used to see them crawling to the point of crisis. Now we see people who are already in the crisis stage when they come.”
One advantage of offering entry services without pre-booking, Jeffers said, is that people don’t have to know what they really need before looking for services.
“If you are struggling now we will do this assessment,” she said. “Sometimes the roadblock is that people don’t know what to ask for.”
CSO is designed so that adults and families can simply go to the clinic at any time and receive immediate services. They’re also welcome to call for appointments, and doctors are receiving referrals from a variety of different settings, including school counselors, said Jane Jakosky, the clinic’s director.
“Since the pandemic, the need has increased overall, but we are seeing a lot of children and families,” she said. “Children faced isolation, loss, grief, loss of their routine and sometimes family members.”
Jakosky said there are many small meeting rooms where doctors can work with clients in the new building, but that civil society organization staff will also make telehealth appointments and visit clients frequently in their homes, where people feel more comfortable.
People are also facing economic stress, particularly with inflation, and the pandemic has been particularly hard on people who use drugs. People in recovery also face a lot of challenges because some lost work hours, layoffs and change or discontinuation of their regular routines and systems that helped them stay sober, said Jeffrey Oldmikson, vice president of marketing and development.
Among the advantages of the new building is that it is easily accessible, it offers free parking, security, and it is located on the bus line. It is also accessible to people with disabilities, he said.
The larger building also means the clinic now has a pharmacy in the building, he said, making it convenient if clients are prescribed medications as part of their treatment.
He said civil society organizations are also helping people with housing insecurity and helping those who might be at risk of eviction to remain in their place of residence.
Oldmixon said the Springfield site currently employs about 50 people but is now looking for doctors and social workers.