If you are experiencing a non-life-threatening injury or illness, there are a number of reasons to head to the nearest urgent care clinic. For example, these medical walk in clinics often do not require appointments, have short waiting periods, and typically perform a variety of services, including X-rays and basic blood work. Moreover, urgent care is often considerably less expensive than emergency room care. But despite these benefits, urgent care centers are typically designed to treat medical problems, not mental health problems. Now, a new urgent care clinic in Rhode Island is suggesting that this may soon change.
Lifespan, Rhode Island’s largest health system, recently opened a psychiatric urgent care clinic and outpatient center in East Greenwich. The health system claims that the clinic is the area’s first of its kind, a statement few will likely contest, as urgent care facilities are typically designed for medical complaints. Officials at Lifespan also commented that Rhode Island has one of the highest rates of serious mental illness in the country. The new clinic is therefore meant to help people in the East Greenwich area better able to access health services and help Lifespan meet a prevalent need.
East Greenwich, RI is considered an affluent town, which belongs to one of the wealthiest municipalities in the state. While obtaining the affordability of immediate treatment is therefore likely not a major concern, there is no doubt that being able to seek care at the nearest urgent care clinic will likely be beneficial to many. More importantly, however, this new type of urgent care clinic could inspire other communities and health systems to add urgent care centers that specialize in mental illness, helping to address a prevalent problem around the United States. Could you one day seek mental health care at the nearest urgent care clinic? Only time will tell.
The East Greenwich urgent care facility will be available to patients ages 18 and older. Services will include onsite medical assessment, crisis psychiatry if necessary, crisis stabilization, and family education and support.