BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The staff at Spectrum Health and Human Services in Buffalo were paying close attention to Governor Andrew Cuomo's speech about the state's budget, on Wednesday.
“The governor was almost reading the description of our services as he was speaking today,” said Kevin Beckman the Managing Director of Clinic Operations for Spectrum Health’s Urgent Care.
“We're launching 24-hour urgent care centers,” said Governor Cuomo while describing the details of the state’s next budget. “This is an unforeseen, but very real byproduct of COVID, has been the mental health, the stress, the isolation.”
Establish Urgent Care Centers for mental health and addiction services: The Budget authorizes the launch of Urgent Care Centers for mental health and addiction services. On average, more than 100,000 individuals per year benefit from crisis intervention services. These centers will be open 24/7/365 and accept all admissions without referral, including direct drop-offs by law enforcement and other first responders. This effort will streamline stabilization and reintegration for individuals in crisis.
At their Main Street location Spectrum Health has an urgent care center. People dealing mental health problems or addiction crisis can walk right into the facility to get help.
There was a ribbon cutting ceremony for the facility last September. It's the only one of its kind in Erie County.
“A lot of individuals don't have education on mental health services or just mental health in general. I think it's just very important that this is provided as a support to them,” said Riannon Martin the Program Director for Spectrum Health’s Urgent Care.
The idea for the urgent care was on the drawing board before the pandemic, but during the pandemic more people have been requiring services from Spectrum.
“Those challenges, by the way, existed pre-COVID. It just exacerbated them,” said Beckman.
More money from the state, means normal business hours could be expanded. And places like Spectrum’s urgent care could soon be open 24-hours a day. According to Beckman, that means they could help a lot more people.
“There's no clock that comes to a crisis. There is no set time frame when it comes to an individual who is in need. We have to be here and available,” said Beckman.
For more information on Spectrum Health and Human Services Mental Health Urgent Care, you can click this link.
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