‘Not enough quick access’: Pine Rest may expand urgent care

Kent County

GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich, (WOOD) — Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services says it has seen a serious boom in the number of people looking for quick access to mental health care services. 

Since opening its Psychiatric Urgent Care Center at its Cutlerville campus six months ago, Pine Rest says it has served more than 3,000 patients. 

The center offers same-day mental health assessments and treatment for people who can’t wait for outpatient intervention.

“There’s just not enough quick access to behavioral health care. It’s a difficulty everywhere,” Pine Rest Vice President and COO Bob Nykamp told News 8 Monday.

In just a few months, the center has served people from more than 50 Michigan counties, 13 states and Canada. The majority of the patients are walk-ins. Pine Rest says about 70% of the patients are there struggling with depression or anxiety.

The idea for the urgent care center started with local emergency rooms overwhelmed by the amount of people were looking for behavioral health care treatments. Pine Rest says many of the people who are now its clients found themselves in the ER, waiting hours on end just to be referred elsewhere. 

“I think there is higher acuity of behavioral issues in our state, in our country, but I also think stigma is minimizing. So I think more people who in the past wouldn’t have sought services are seeking it today,” Nykamp said.

A large portion of the center’s patients are in the 18-24 age range. Officials are discussing expanding services to patients under 18.

“One of the reasons that has not (already) happened today, is facility and (finding) space and specialists who treat that population,” Nykamp said.

Rockford High School student Adam Goushaw, who said he has struggled with his mental health, believes it would be a beneficial resource for young people. 

“There are so many people that I know that are going through it,” Goushaw said. “To have a place where I know I can go where I can get help, I feel like that is an amazing thing.”

“The research shows when people get services when they need it, it has an impact on suicide rate, acuity of their disease. To get people into the system quicker is making a major impact,” Nykamp said.

There is no word on when or how Pine Rest plans to expand, but Nykamp said it will likely take a community partner effort. In the meantime, officials plan to help as many as they can. 

For more information on the center or to make an appointment, call the Psychiatric Urgent Care Center at 616.455.9200. Walk-ins are also welcome. Pine Rest has posted “Know Before You Go” information on its website.

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