The Beacon Center in Herkimer opened a new mental health outpatient treatment clinic today, as mental health issues surge during the pandemic.
A brand new mental health outpatient treatment clinic opened today at the Beacon Center on Main Street in Herkimer. The Beacon Center has provided substance abuse treatment since 1990, but a lack of mental health options in the area caused clinic to expand.
“What we were finding approximately a year and a half ago or so was that our clients were telling us they were waiting too long to get in to see a psychiatrist or to receive mental health services,” said Beacon Center director of program operations Helen Burdick. “So we came up with the idea of opening a mental health clinic, which is licensed by the state of New York through the Office of Mental Health, so that we can help our patients with their mental health.”
The clinic comes as the pandemic has wreaked havoc on the mental health of millions across the country. Psychiatric nurse practitioner Hillary Kelly says that social isolation and financial uncertainty stemming from the pandemic puts a serious strain on people’s resolve.
“There is a model that says we are able to put up with a certain level of stress for so long, and then our coping mechanisms and our reserves just kind of give out after a period of time,” Kelly said. “We either need to adapt and learn new coping skills, or we kind of start to fall apart.”
Kelly says that if you have a loved one who may be experiencing symptoms of ainxiety or depression, the best thing to do would be to reach out to them.
“I would say to talk to them about it,” Kelly said. “Sometimes we have a really hard time recognizing things within ourselves. Sometimes it takes somebody else talking to them or calling them on it that ‘Hey, I’m worried. I’m concerned about you.”’
With licensed and experienced mental health professionals ready to help at the Beacon Center, Burdick says anyone that comes in will be made to feel at home.
“The person that needs to help can come in themselves. They can bring a family member with them or a friend if they’re nervous about coming into the clinic. We get people in quickly. So, you know, if they want to come in and get some help, all they have to do is open the door and walk in, or give us a call on the phone.”
You can call the clinic at 315-717-0189 or visit it online at beaconcenter.net.