TWC’s eastside location is now equipped to deal with psychiatric and addiction needs that are non-emergent but require immediate attention.
Originally posted on July 5, 2019, updated on Sept. 26, 2019
We know the closest urgent care is probably the best move if we’ve got a cut that’s too deep for a Band-Aid or a particularly persistent bout of the flu, but what if you find yourself having a psychotic episode – or struggling to stay afloat in a sea of depression? Team Wellness Center’s newly opened psychiatric urgent care unit has been structured to address mental health and addiction crises that aren’t necessarily emergent but do require immediate attention.
Team Wellness Center vice president Michael Hunter says, “One of the things we noticed is that the system is being overly burdened with inefficiency because people in a psychiatric urgency are going to the emergency room.” This is costly to the patient and to the system, and is usually ineffective because the ER is often ill-equipped to properly deal with such issues. It’s why TWC opened the 24-hour, 16-bed facility at its eastside location in April.
“Now, if a person goes to a local emergency department, they can call us and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got so-and-so here. We don’t believe this is a medical emergency, and we don’t think it’s a psychiatric emergency, but it is a psychiatric matter. Can you guys help?’” Hunter says.
At that point, TWC’s treatment team responds and will typically bring the patient back to their facility for the appropriate care, which involves on-site stabilization and an initial psychiatric assessment. “They’re in a quiet environment (and) they’re away from the rest of the community, so their dignity is preserved.”
Providers are also licensed to provide substance abuse treatment, which may mean administering Suboxone, used to treat opiate addiction. It’s an alternative to the more popular Methadone, and Hunter says it’s “a little easier on the person depending on how chronic of a condition they have.” When he or she is calmed, they’re allowed to have a meal and take a bath, and then the team goes about facilitating a long-term game plan.
“We don’t turn anybody away,” he says. They offer a sliding fee schedule for the uninsured or those that are low-income. “If you come to us for help, we’re going to get you the help you need, even if it’s to eventually refer you to someone else.” TWC works with community partners like the state of Michigan, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries and others.
TWC produces a talk show, MI Healthy Mind, which airs Sundays at noon on TV20 Detroit and explores a range of topics related to mental well-being. Hunter says this and the psychiatric urgent care center is meant to send a clear message about mental health. He says, “We are big on eliminating stigma. So we try to champion that cause. If we talk about it, eventually people get comfortable hearing about it and they don’t shy away.”
September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and TWC just launched a suicide prevention hotline, 888-813-TEAM, available 24 hours a day. Individuals in need of mental health or substance use assistance will be able to speak to a live, trauma-informed, suicide prevention specialists, who will help or connect them with the appropriate response team.
3646 Mount Elliott St., Detroit