A 24-hour psychiatric clinic opens in Kalamazoo

KALAMAZOO, MI – Integrated Services of Kalamazoo opened the doors to its new Behavioral Health Urgent Care and Access Center on Monday, July 10.

According to an ISK press release, the clinic provides same-day access and emergency treatment for mental health and substance use disorders and is the first of its kind in Kalamazoo County. It’s one of the few in the entire state.

The center is located at 440 W. Kalamazoo Ave and is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Friday, July 21. From Monday 24 July, opening hours will be changed to 24 hours a day/seven days a week.

Related: Kalamazoo’s first free health clinic since 2010 is about to open

Funding for the $5 million center came from multiple sources, including local charities such as the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, as well as American Rescue Plan Act funds granted by Kalamazoo County to ISK.

The 7,900 square foot building has nine treatment rooms, numerous offices, waiting rooms, a conference room, a reception area, a lobby and a security office. The center also has a separate entrance for police and ambulances.

“We believe this coordinated and comprehensive behavioral health emergency care and access system will reduce the need to deploy law enforcement and EMS services to intervene in mental health crises,” said Jeff Patton, CEO of ISK, previously. “This will also reduce medically unnecessary use of the emergency departments of community hospitals and the incarceration of those in mental health crisis for public safety.”

According to the ISK, an estimated 68% of crisis calls could be resolved without going to a hospital emergency room. Therefore, the center is expected to relieve local hospitals.

The center is open to anyone dealing with an urgent behavioral health concern and is located near areas with a high concentration of individuals using behavioral health services, including the homeless.

It is easily accessible on foot from nearby shelters and downtown. ISK officials hope the new center will lead to better outcomes for people in crisis through quick access to mental health professionals as an alternative to the emergency department.

“It’s accessible to both the Northside community and the downtown community where we have a high concentration of individuals receiving services,” Patton previously told the MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette. “It is a very, very good location for us and it is easy to get to in terms of transport.

“People deserve a modern facility in which they are not under pressure in terms of space or time.”

“Master’s level social workers, limited license psychologists and licensed social workers make up the staff,” said Dianne Shaffer, director of the ISK project. Community health workers and/or colleagues would also be used to examine some of the other hurdles in care, she said.

The new center looks after people of all ages and incomes, with or without insurance. Anyone in a crisis can come by or call 269-373-6000.

“It’s hard to focus on mental health when you’re losing your house or you can’t pay your rent or groceries,” Shaffer said.

Problems that the emergency center can solve:

• Mental health crises

• Intrusive or disturbing thoughts

• Suicidal thoughts

• Remember to harm yourself or others

• depression, anxiety

• Panic attacks, severe emotional distress

• Problems with substance use

• Acute grief reactions

• Difficulty coping with activities of daily living due to mental illness or substance use

Offered services:

• Crisis stabilization

• Check for services

• Referrals to providers for treatment

• Security planning

• Connections to community resources

• Compassionate listening

The ISK’s Same-Day Access Center, which offers adults the opportunity to access non-urgent behavioral health services, has also moved to the new facility. The center was formerly located at 615 E. Crosstown Parkway.

The new center is not a medical health facility, ISK officials said. Anyone needing medical attention for an overdose, detox, withdrawal symptoms, stroke, chest pain, cut/bleeding, etc. should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. The center cannot prescribe medication or refills.

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