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Avera Medical Minute: Behavioral Health Urgent Care

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Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 10:24 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Avera Health has launched a new Behavioral Health Urgent Care program at their Behavioral Health Hospital on 69th Street in Sioux Falls.

This is at a time when mental health is a front-burner issue for a lot of us.

We were able to speak this week with Dr. Matt Stanley, who is the Vice President of Avera Behavioral Health.

Dr. Matt Stanley: “It’s a little different than what we think of in urgent care. In the way, we’re familiar with it in some of the other Avera clinics here. In that, we won’t always offer a prescription on that date but what we are going to do is assess the severity of the illness. Try to evaluate for you the right level of care you need to be plugged into and give you a name and a place to receive that care and certainly if you need hospitalization...if you have an issue of safety...or a need to be observed we can do that in our urgent care facility.”

Brian Allen: “Dr. Stanley, how does someone know when they should go or how does a loved one potentially know when their loved one should go? Does there have to be an immediate level of harm or self-harm?”

Dr. Matt Stanley: “I would say those are absolutes that if you fear for someone’s safety either something they would do to themselves or something they would do to someone else..that’s an absolute. That’s where you would definitely bring that person into us to be evaluated. But even if you’re just wondering if they need a higher level of care.if they need to see a psychiatrist or a counselor..we can help you sort through that at the urgent care.”

Brian Allen: “Why stand up a program like this now? Is it because this has been on the books and this is just when it is happening? Or is it happening as a direct result of greater mental health challenges that we’ve seen come to light as a result of the pandemic? Or is it both?”

Dr. Matt Stanley: “Yeah I would like to answer both. Here’s what I would tell you; so it is something that we had considered prior to the pandemic. But as the pandemic hit our community, hit our nation, and we began to recognize just the unparalleled..the magnitude of the changes we were seeing....not just in healthcare but in behavioral healthcare...we realized that we needed to re-think delivery of care and the urgent care was just absolutely the right level of intervention.”

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