Access Opens Mental Health, Substance Use Urgent Care

May 13, 2019

An agency that offers disability and mental health services in New York’s Hudson Valley has opened two urgent care centers in Orange County. The agency’s president believes they are the first of their kind in the region, if not the state.

Access: Supports for Living has opened a Mental Health and Substance Use Urgent Care in Middletown and Newburgh. Access CEO Ron Colavito describes the Mental Health and Substance Use Urgent Care as a front door to care.

“You don’t have to be in full mental health or substance abuse crisis to walk in,” says Colavito. “There could be depression or anxiety, all the way up to suicidal thoughts or significant addiction issues, but it can be anywhere along that spectrum.”

And with the support of a $4 million grant awarded through the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there will be no charge for services not covered by insurance.

“We’ve served every person that’s come in without long wait times, reasonable wait times. People are engaged when they come in the door,” Colavito says. “We have a peer, someone with lived experience in mental health or substance abuse that can engage with a person and then they have access to both nursing and clinical, licensed clinical supports.”

Adults and children with mental health and/or substance use concerns can walk in, with no appointment or referral necessary, and begin treatment, including medication assisted treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol. The Mental Health and Substance Use Urgent Care team includes psychiatrists, licensed therapists, registered nurses, peers, care managers and a nutritionist. Brian Doyle is CEO of Family Services, whose main office is in Poughkeepsie. He supports the urgent care model and agrees there is a need.

“I don’t have to tell you that substance use disorders are increasing, and all the more reason for such a resource to be opened in Orange County,” Doyle says.

As more people become aware of and use the service, Colavito says hours and staffing could change to meet any needs down the road.

“We’ve seen on light days around 6 or so people but, I think, the other day we had 25 people,” Colavito says.

That’s been since the opening May 1, the start of Mental Health Awareness Month.

“The majority of people that we are seeing are people that we were not previously connected to,” Colavito says.

Colavito addresses potential expansion.

“So, first and foremast, we definitely want to continue the advocacy that this model is sustained so that these models survive, the ones that we started, into the future. But, I think in our surrounding counties, regions, state and nationally, this becoming a model is really important,” says Colavito. “We would love to do more in our communities that we serve and are definitely willing and able to talk to others about how they could go around implementing this. People helped us so we would definitely be willing to help others.”

Family Services’ Doyle:

“Well, as a matter of fact, we have recently discussed this internally and, inasmuch as Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health are now a merged entity, we’re taking a look at services such as this and resources such as this that may be a benefit to people in Dutchess or Ulster Counties,” says Doyle.

The Access Mental Health and Substance Use Urgent Care is open to residents from across the Hudson Valley seven days a week – Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The locations are Union Street Community Counseling Center in Middletown and Kaplan Family Counseling Center on Grand Street in Newburgh.