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Vermont is Investing in a Clinic to Combat the Mental Health Crisis

— July 11, 2023

University of Vermont Health Network is building a clinic to help address mental health concerns.

In the battle against the mental health crisis, there is simply no substitute for money. It would be great if getting people the help they needed didn’t come down to dollars and cents, but that’s the reality of the situation. Simply put, the more money that becomes available for programs and facilities that can help fight this battle, the easier investing in mental health is and better the results will be.  Against that backdrop, it’s promising to see more and more significant commitments by organizations with the funds available to help fight against mental illness. In this case, it is the University of Vermont Health Network is investing in the development of a new clinic at a cost of nearly $3 million to help with mental health care needs. The end result would be a mental health urgent care clinic – similar to the traditional urgent care clinics that have become common across the country, only for mental health issues rather than physical ailments. 

Everyone understands that physical health emergencies need to be dealt with promptly to give the patient the best possible outcomes. People can’t just sit around to wait for a wound to be bandaged, for example – the results could be disastrous in such a situation. The same is true of leaving mental health untreated.

Vermont is Investing in a Clinic to Combat the Mental Health Crisis
Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

The problem with mental health care in an urgent setting is that the situation is hard to assess from the outside. Even if someone is in the middle of a mental health crisis where their life could in jeopardy, it may be hard to assess that visually. So, those seeking mental health care in an emergency setting are often left to wait, and they don’t get the help they need when they need it the most. 

By investing in a dedicated clinic that is focused on urgent mental health care, the goal is to bring down wait times and create an environment that is more conducive to stability and recovery. Rather than being lumped in with everyone else looking for emergency care, those with an ongoing health battle will be able to go to a dedicated space that has been designed for such situations. Another part of this Vermont project involves updating the psychiatric unit at Central Vermont Medical Center. One of the changes is to create more beds in private rooms, which could go a long way toward giving people the space they need to work through their problems with the help of a trained professional – and without the chaos and confusion that can often reign in a shared space. This is another example of how resources can be used to better the care that is provided to mental health patients. 

Every dollar that is added to the ongoing effort to help people facing mental health challenges is a step in the right direction. Money makes it possible to hire qualified people, open new facilities or keep existing facilities in operation, and more. Hopefully, there will be a snowball effect with more and more groups adding funding to these issues not only in Vermont, but across the rest of the country, as well. 


UVM Health Network proposes $18 million program to address mental health crisis in Vermont

Wait times in the emergency department for patients with mental illness

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