Now in Neptune, nation’s first urgent care offering mental health services

Raven Santana, Correspondent | September 20, 2019 | Health Care

A clinic in Neptune, has become the first in the nation to have an urgent-care center that also caters to those with mental health issues and illnesses.

The walk-in center is an outgrowth of the recent merger of Hackensack Meridian Health, which operates 16 hospitals, and the 100-year-old Carrier Clinic, which specializes in addiction and psychiatric care.

No appointment is necessary at the center. And Donald Parker, president and CEO of the Hackensack Meridian Health Carrier Clinic, says copays and wait times will be significantly lower than what patients typically experience at an emergency room.

“Show up, check in and you’re going to be seen,” said Parker. “We will stabilize you. We may renew a prescription, we may offer you a new prescription. We want to make sure you’re safe and treated before you get to the next care provider.”

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The center will also provide care for patients with unnoticed mental health issues and is specifically designed to be a safe environment for those who may be at risk of hurting themselves.

Currently, the center is only taking patients 18 years old and older, but it does plan on offering care to children in the future. Parker says the aim is to eventually open up more mental health urgent care centers like this one across the state.