LEHIGHTON, Pa. — What used to be the emergency room inside the old Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital in Lehighton is now the center for the region's first 24-hour walk-in mental health clinic.
"Carbon, Monroe, Pike MHDS put forward the idea of almost an urgent care for mental health, and so St. Luke's raised its hand and said we think we can do that," said Jody McCloud Missmer, an administrator of behavioral health services at St. Luke's University Health Network.
St. Luke's officials cut the ribbon on Thursday, showing off the new walk-in mental health center.
The facility will help people aged 14 and up by assessing and addressing a number of mental health concerns.
"We want individuals to come to this space when they first start experiencing symptoms that may be of concern to them so they can in real-time receive an assessment," said McCloud Missmer.
St. Luke's officials say the new clinic offers another option for those experiencing mental health issues instead of going to the emergency room.
"The goal is to avoid the emergency room for mental health conditions that perhaps we can get in front of before they reach that level," McCloud Missmer said.
Tina Clymer is an administrator with Carbon, Monroe, Pike Mental Health and Developmental Services (MHDS). She says the center comes at a time when more Mental Health services are needed.
"People have more real stress there in life, and we all know that stress increases mental health symptoms. So I think that's part of it. The isolation from the pandemic is part of it," Clymer said. "There are just some very real challenges that people are facing."
St. Luke's plans to open the walk-in clinic in Lehighton in August.
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