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Mental health facility at St. Mary’s meeting its goals six months after opening

1 hour ago

Credit Alex Crichton

A new mental health center is marking six months in operation, offering patients individualized care while at the same time taking some pressure off over-crowded emergency departments.

That’s according to officials at Rochester Regional Health’s Behavioral Health Access and Crisis Center, which has seen some 1,200 patients since opening in October at the St. Mary’s campus.

Melissa Shoemaker is program manager at the center.

``The real goal of the crisis center is to decrease the preventable emergency room visits for individuals who are in crisis whether that be for mental health or a substance abuse related issue, “ she said.  ``I think we’re addressing the crisis at the get-go, with each individual that comes in,  either linking them up with outpatient treatment or getting them an inpatient admission if that is what they need.”

Inside the Behavioral Health Access and Crisis Center at the St. Mary's campus

Shoemaker says the center sees many people who have an opioid problem, and within Rochester Regional, there are three inpatient chemical dependency units, and they’re working closely with them to get patients into those beds as soon as possible.

Director of acute psychiatric services, Colin Scantlin adds that over 90 percent of patients seen each month were released without a transfer to an emergency room or other facility.

``In an emergency room, the medical clearance that is required to occur before being seen can take hours.  Now, it’s a very less costly process, a quicker process and what we’re seeing thus far is a happier customer,” he said.

Since opening in October, the center is seeing an average of 8 patients a day, the majority of them are young adults between 26 and 35 years old.

Colin Scantlin says the center is meeting its goal of keeping people out of crowded, hectic emergency rooms: