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Memorial Behavioral Health Launches Mental Health Crisis Clinic

With the number of COVID-19 cases on the rise in central Illinois, it’s essential to reduce the pressure on local hospital emergency departments while still helping people who are experiencing a mental health crisis, a local behavioral health administrator said.

That’s why Memorial Behavioral Health has launched a mental health crisis clinic to help people who are dealing with mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, but don’t know where to turn.

The clinic is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays for walk-ins or phone calls. Local health care providers, such as primary care physicians, can also call to refer their patients. The number is 217-525-1064.

“It’s like an ExpressCare for mental health,” said Diana Knaebe, system administrator for Memorial Behavioral Health, an affiliate of Memorial Health System.

Memorial Behavioral Health has a mental health crisis intervention team stationed in the Emergency Department at Memorial Medical Center. Many patients who are seen by the crisis intervention team have non-emergency mental health issues and no physical ailments or injuries. The goal of the new mental health crisis clinic is to help those individuals in an outpatient setting, thereby reducing the number of people showing up in the Emergency Department who are not experiencing a psychiatric or medical emergency.

“We are opening this clinic to help people get the help they need outside of the emergency room. People with immediate behavioral health needs will receive point-in-time crisis intervention,” Knaebe said.

“If we can help reduce the number of people going to the emergency room who don’t need to, we can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the flu,” she said.

Memorial Behavioral Health offers other services to the public, including an emotional support hotline at 217-588-5509. The hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Anyone who may be considering suicide or who is worried that someone else might be can call the national suicide prevention hotline around the clock at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and reach a trained professional. Memorial Behavioral Health is a member of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s network.

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